DT 28111 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28111

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28111

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Last weekend the duck shooting season started in New Zealand. This always has the effect of sending huge numbers of extra water birds to seek refuge in the estuary next to us which is a protected sanctuary. As we write this we have lots of mallards and especially Canada geese as noisy neighbours and even a handful of elegant black swans.
Jay in his usual good form this week.

Please leave a comment telling us how you found it.


1a     Patient wearing undies must get bags (10)
BRIEFCASES : A four letter word for a medical patient is inside a word for skimpy underpants.

6a     Voices disapproval of nameless benefits (4)
BOOS : Start with a word meaning benefits or windfalls and remove from it the fourth letter which is the abbreviation for name.

10a     Not at work — ears oddly tender! (5)
OFFER : A word meaning not at work and then alternate letters of ears.

11a     Awful noise, always ignoring volume — that’s criminal (9)
RACKETEER : A loud annoying noise, followed by a word meaning always where the abbreviation for volume has been removed.

12a     Season — time enough possibly (7)
TOUGHEN : The abbreviation for time and then an anagram (possibly) of ENOUGH

13a     Memos about church scores (7)
NOTCHES : The two letter abbreviation for a church is inside a word for memos or reminders.

14a     Surprisingly, most earn full amount (5,7)
SMALL FORTUNE : An anagram (surprisingly) of MOST EARN FULL.

18a     Time for a few words about oneself? (4,8)
LIFE SENTENCE : Time here is a period of incarceration. The wordplay alludes to what could be a very short biography.

21a     Measures should incorporate exercises in areas of Russia (7)
STEPPES : Measures or dances include the abbreviation for physical exercises.

23a     Good horse getting agitated around quiet rodents (7)
GOPHERS : The abbreviation for good and then an anagram (getting agitated) of HORSE with the musical letter for quiet.

24a     Avant-garde artist stormed in drunk (9)
MODERNIST : An anagram (drunk) of STORMED IN.

25a     Subject of note crossing border (5)
THEME : A word for the border of a fabric is inside one of the notes of the sol-fa scale.

26a     Girl getting married has no right to wait (4)
BIDE : Remove the abbreviation for right from a girl getting married.

27a     Plots succeeded initially with Conservative approaches (10)
STORYLINES : The first letter of succeeded, then a word for a Conservative and usually amorous approaches.


1d     British student with German bloke getting drunk (6)
BLOTTO : The abbreviations for British and somebody learning with a common German first name.

2d     Arrival of popular fellow with light unit (6)
INFLUX : A two letter word meaning popular, then the abbreviation for fellow and a light unit of illuminance equivalent to one lumen per square metre.

3d     Hatters top — form exceptional, mainly (3,3,4,4)
FOR THE MOST PART : An anagram (exceptional) of HATTERS TOP FORM.

4d     A couple of roads up at home? This causes an increase in blood pressure (9)
ADRENALIN : ‘A’ from the clue, and then reverse both the abbreviation for road and a word for a country road. Follow these with a word meaning at home.

5d     Vote in European swindle for one who’s served his time (2-3)
EX-CON : The abbreviation for European and the mark one puts on a voting paper to indicate one’s choice, and then a word meaning to swindle.

7d     Make repairs to complete catch (8)
OVERHAUL : Complete or finished and then a word meaning a catch obtained by pulling in.

8d     Put the accent on tense (8)
STRESSED : A double definition. The second meaning is under pressure.

9d     Funding from seat of government supporting undertaking (7,7)
VENTURE CAPITAL : The word for a city that is the seat of government follows a word meaning an undertaking or enterprise.

15d     Craft of boxer holding on (9)
FREIGHTER : A boxer, or even a wrestler or a soldier contains a two letter abbreviation meaning ‘on’ or ‘referring to’.

16d     Quiet doctor surrounded by fat people suddenly gathering (5,3)
FLASH MOB : A two letter instruction to be quiet and one of the abbreviations for a doctor are found inside a word for surplus fat.

17d     On holiday, finished revealing hurt feelings (8)
OFFENDED : On holiday or not at work, and finished or completed.

19d     Put down limits of damage, on average (6)
DEMEAN : The first and last letters of damage and one of the words that can indicate an average.

20d     Resources needed by group on board a ship (6)
ASSETS : A synonym for a group is inside ‘A’ from the clue and the abbreviation for steamship.

22d     Sun king runs in it to go around (5)
SKIRT : The letters used to indicate sun and king and then the cricket abbreviation for runs is inside ‘it’ from the clue.

Our favourite this week is 16d because it gave us our biggest laugh.

Quickie pun   aver   +   nigh   +   dear   =   have an idea


93 comments on “DT 28111

  1. A very comfortable and enjoyable solve on this rather miserable Marches morning. I always look forward to a Jay puzzle, and this one did not disappoint. A good mixture of clue types, and all fair and doable. I liked 6 across just because of its simplicity.

    1.5*/4* from me, with thanks to the Wednesday supremo and the 2Ks.

  2. Good puzzle, nothing obscure……6a and 7d held me up…no particular favourites…..I agree with **/***

  3. Not a lot to say, fairly straight forward puzzle.Not sure who the setter is, but rhe last three days all feel very similar. 3* for enjoyment and 2*for difficulty level. Many thanks to 2kiwis fir the hints.

    1. The Wednesday setter is always Jay. If you want to know the setters for the other days of the week you can look in the FAQ’s which is up at the top.

  4. I agree with the K’s 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    The two that held me up for the longest were 16 and 22d – I couldn’t get ‘flesh’ out of my head for the first word of 16d – no excuses for 22d.
    Having got the first letter of 1a I convinced myself that the ‘undies’ in clue had to be bras – they usually are.
    12a took a while – was thinking of the wrong kind of season.
    Spent too long trying to think of a specific artist for 24a.
    Never heard of the 2d light unit.
    I liked 11a and 1 and 16d. My favourite was 18a.
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s.

    1. Hi Kath,
      The ‘Season’ in 12a was clever in the way that it misled. Is this what they call “a good surface”, I often hear it mentioned in the blog but have been too embarrassed to ask what it means!!

      1. Hoofit the ‘surface’ or ‘surface reading’ is just how the clue reads when you look at it simply as a sentence and not particularly as a clue to a cryptic crossword. Hope that makes sense. :smile:

      2. Hoofit – don’t ever be too embarrassed to ask anything here – asking something is how you learn – no-one will ever make you feel silly – it’s one of the many really good things about this blog. :smile:

  5. Fans of our Sunday setter might like to have a go at his ‘Brendan’ in today’s Guardian.

    1. yes, I loved it – nice witty current theme and a little nina – and not too hard

    2. It’s a lovely puzzle. I suspect that he’s had to make one or two tweaks to the clues since he trailed it here two months ago.

    3. Oh, that was right up my alley! I also think it’s my fastest cryptic solve ever. Thanks for the hat tip, CS.

      1. Me too, Chris. Must be because we eat, breathe, live this stuff all day, every day! Isn’t Mr. Greer the greatest?

  6. Finished very comfortably before lights out last night – 1.5*/3***.

    15d caused me some trouble and I was beginning to think that I might have to wait until this morning to complete it, bur it ‘surrendered’ eventually.

    Favourite 18a which I am reasonably certain is an oldie but goodie. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  7. Cumbersome and poorly clued in my opinion. Not difficult too get the answers but trying to understand them is quite another. Still don’t get the re in 15d, surely re means about. And why the small in 14a, surely any fortune is an amount small or large. Still I did like 16d at least.
    Not my favourite but at least it was finishable unlike I suspect tomorrow’s offering will be.😟
    Thx to all esp the 2kiwis for the explanations.

    1. Whenever I read curmudgeonly comments I have to wonder how many crosswords the writer of those comments has compiled.

      1. Brian’s been commenting on here for years so he must have done thousands, Doesn’t seem to have learned much though. For example RE = ON = ABOUT is a crossword standard.

    2. I think Brian may have a case with ‘small fortune’ = amount. Of course a small fortune is a large fortune anyway, but it does seem arbitrary. I can make it work by thinking small fortune is an example of amount, just like pine is an example of tree, but I was also left slightly dissatisfied.

    3. Brian. 15d: The “re” is not so hard to understand. Craft ( or ship, boat – a direct definition/synonym of answer) = of (pertaining to, belonging to) boxer (FIGHTER) holding (containing) on ( as in RE, or about, regarding, etc.). Giving – F(RE)IGHTER.

  8. Nothing to agitate the horses (ok maybe the little rodents in 23a). 22d took longer than it should have, many possibilities I guess.

    16d was my favourite.

    Agree with CS about today’s fun Guardian puzzle by Virgilius/Brendan – do give it a go (free, just google guardian crosswords)

    Many thanks 2Kiwis and Jay

  9. No real problems although, like Kath, I was trying to work ‘bras’ into 1a for a while and worried that I was looking for a specific artist in 24a. Also had to get confirmation of the light unit in 2d.
    Top two for me were 18a & 16d. Rather hoped for a clip for the latter – the most amusing thing about them is the astonished/bemused looks on the faces of the general public surrounding the performers!

    Thanks to Jay and also to our 2Ks. Glad to hear that you’re providing a local refuge for the beleaguered wildlife!

    Right – back to Micawber now……

      1. Ta MP! It is one of my favourites not least for the man holding up the wet floor sign! Love it.

        1. Thanks for the pointer Jane and Hanni.
          Even though I rattled off today’s backpager in double quick time, the Toughies are just too Toughie for me. Shame. Half an hour’s study revealed only three answers. There does seem quite a gulf between the two.
          The Guardian today seems a better choice.

          1. Sorry, Hoofit. You may find that it’s actually down to the style of a different setter as much as the difficulty element. Worth following Gazza’s advice of filling in the ‘across’ clues using the hints and answers and then having a go at the ‘downs’ by yourself. Don’t worry, I still find a lot of the Toughies can take me the better part of the day to complete and I’m still two answers short in the Monthly Prize Puzzle on this site which was published on Saturday!

            1. Thanks Jane, yes, I have been through the answers, respect to all of you who do the Toughie regularly.

  10. One of those crosswords where I pondered over the clue and then once I’d got it, it was so obvious. Still got 6a wrong though! ***/*** for me.

  11. Apart from trying to make ‘tuts’ fit in 6A for a while, no real hold-ups. Liked 4D and 18A. Thanks to Jay and the two Ks.

  12. Pretty straight forward I thought. No real problems; the clues were all (to my mind) well constructed and those that might not have been, then licence could be duly given!
    No real favourite, maybe 1d cos it were daft mother.
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Jay and the Kiwis.

  13. Very enjoyable and very doable. No real hold ups. Jay used to cause me problems but like everyone else using this blog those days are in the past. One of the adverts has worked. I bought three Christopher Ward watches yesterday. I’m still not tempted by the mature dating site though.

  14. Nice crossword **/**** my only Brian is I have always spelt 6a ***u* 😳 Thanks to the 2xKs and Jay, I think MP deserves an honourable mention for the video clip 😜 Liked 1a & 19d 😊

    1. I think your problem with 6a is that you’re using the wrong word for benefits – yours is the singular word for an unexpected extra. You need the plural of a different word for blessings or favours. Having read that again it’s as clear as mud but I hope it helps.

  15. Enjoyable fare. Last in was 24a, I spent ages trying to find a word to fit until I realised it was an anagram. A real Doh! moment.
    Favourite was 4d, a very clever clue.
    I had never heard of 16d, but managed to look at my belly, understood where the ‘fat’ was coming from and it all fitted.
    Disappointed that Gordon the Gopher did not make the cut in the hints, he and Roland Rat were the two rodents of the ’80’s.

    1. Oops, thanks to the 2xK’s for the hints (why would people want to shoot birds???) and to Jay for another enjoyable run out.

  16. Some clues were pretty tricky, and I never did get 6a, I needed the hints for that. Good workout for the old brain, so I’d give it *** for difficulty.
    My standout fave was 16d.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2Kiwis for the hints, and the lovely description of your estuary. It sounds like a perfect little sanctuary.

  17. Quite a bit of head scratching and a few aha moments. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks for the review.

    PS I re-read yesterdays blog and would like to thank all the contributors who came to my defence. This is a unique blog with a very wide range of commenters both in terms of geography and ability. Thank you all.

  18. Hugely enjoyable solve with plenty of smiles.

    Liked the patient wearing undies, the horse getting agitated (obviously) and the thought of a drunk avant-garde artist.

    Favourite is 16d.

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

    My adverts are telling me to go to Barcelona and that I can have a free grammar check. Yesterday they told me to buy Dettol and shoes. No issue with the latter.

  19. Thank you Jay for a really enjoyable odyssey for which my rating would be as per the 2Ks – **/****. I was with Kath and Jane in looking to use a different kind of undies in 1a. Not too sure about 18a clue (I was originally thinking around ‘self’ for first word). Had not heard of the people who gather in 16d (although I well remember MP’s clip) nor the rodents in 23a as opposed to the homophones who ‘go for’ things.

  20. It took me far longer than it should have, but still enjoyable.
    18a is my favourite. Thanks to both Kiwis for the blog, especially for explaining 15d, my last one in.
    How nice for our antipodean friends to be enjoying the best bits of autumn ! I love watching ducks and geese in flight , especially near sunset.
    Meanwhile , our promised heatwave lasted just one day, and mostly rain since.
    Thanks also to Jay.

  21. Not a vintage Jay puzzle by any means, but enjoyable none the less.

    My two favourite clues were 18a and 27a, but Mr. Mutch has a merit point deducted, not for the first time, for the repetition of “off” at the start of both 10a and 17d. “Not at work” and “on holiday” are not dissimilar enough to avoid the charge, m’lud!

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

    P.S. When black swans are mentioned I always think of a school holiday to Dawlish in South Devon where I saw them for the first time on the river that runs through the centre of the town.

    1. I used to spend my summer holidays in a caravan site on Dawlish Warren. Beautiful part of the world.

  22. 2*/3*. This was enjoyable but not too tough. My favourite was 16a.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  23. With most of the left half completed, I hit a wall. So then one or two hints set me off again and was able to complete and enjoy the rest. I must not regard that as a failure but a learning event!
    Thought 12a was clever, also liked 16d, 19d. The ones that tripped me up were 15d…obscure, and clever…13a, 11a.
    Thank you to the 2kiwis for saving my sanity and to the setter.

  24. Tough for me, very difficult to get started and even after several solved, still hard work. Needed 2K’s help with several clues after running out of time – 21a / 2d / 16d / 22d.

    16d is a new one for me,? However learned a lot again today although not my best effort.

    No particular favourite today. Overall for me 4* / 2.5*.

    Thanks to the 2K’s for helping me to complete and thanks to the setter I think?

  25. Solved quickly. Can’t understand why anyone would want to complain about it. 1*/3*

    1. Just to point out I am not complaining at all, as yesterday’s comments noted it is all about people’s opinions.That’s the beauty of this blog, there are people of all abilities using it, and the site has a great spirit because of that.

      Well done to you for doing it quickly. I struggled today but at least I was honest about it.

  26. Good evening everybody.

    Mostly straightforward today although it seems that I didn’t spell 4d correctly.


  27. Good morning everyone. A wet and windy day just dawning here. The ducks, geese and swans should enjoy but does not look hopeful for golf.
    When we were looking for a pic for 23a we had a very nice one of a family of cute little creatures sorted out when we remembered the problems from last week with our swift photo and thought we had better be absolutely sure we were right. A good thing we did as Wikipedia warned us that ground squirrels are often mistakenly called gophers. Our cute little family all had big bushy tales so it was back to the drawing-board. The one we give you is not half as cuddly but is at least accurate.
    Cheers :smile:

  28. One of those rare days when I seemed to be on the same wavelength as the setter, 6a and 22d were my downfall, plus I put Last Sentence instead of Life Sentence at first, which held me up for a bit until I saw the error of my ways. Been attempting the DT cryptic since our girls were babies (now in their 40’s!), but have improved vastly since my husband discovered your blog. Late in comment as we are expats living in South Florida, so see this 5 hours later than friends back home.

    1. Welcome to the blog, BusyLizzie. Don’t worry about the lateness of your comment – there are a lot of night owls on the blog.

    2. Welcome from us too BusyLizzie.
      Don’t worry about the time zones, there always seems to be someone about to read comments. We for example are just finishing our breakfast on Thursday morning, looking back at the rest of the world trailing in our wake.

    3. The crosswords are posted on the Telegraph puzzles site at midnight UK time, which is 7 pm the evening before EST. In other words, tomorrow’s puzzles will be available to we US residents at 7 o’clock this evening. If you want, you can get a jump on solving by printing them out then, while our UK based friends are tucked up in bed.

    4. Welcome from me, too. I’m also in S. Florida and have no problems with the time change.

      1. Hi Merusa, nice to meet another DT cryptic fan from this hot and humid part of the world.

        1. Welcome from me too – a bit hot and humid in Oxford UK too this evening, although probably not as much as over with you.

  29. Hadn’t come across on as re before. And not sure I like it really. But if we knew all the little tricks and word connections (like main = something to do with the sea) it would take all the fun out of it. I have my own system to do sudoku that is so practiced that I am now getting bored with using it. So well done Crossword setters who keep it interesting and yet not too difficult for me. Thanks also 2 kiwis. Enjoy the ducks as I am enjoying the swiftsl screeching around my house at close of day.

  30. Thanks everyone for the welcome, been “lurking” for months now, attempting the puzzle at breakfast, and returning to it at lunch when brain has hopefully woken up. Used to print about 10 days at a time, so was never in sync with the blog, but have now moved into the 21st century and got an e printer, so can print right from the iPad while munching on the Weetabix 😊 Still not a fan of solving directly on the iPad…old habits and all that.

  31. A bit of excitement here. We have just had a couple of earthquakes in the last hour. One was 4.7 and the other 5.2. No damage just a bit of ‘Shake it all about’.

    1. 5.2 is very noticeable! Where was the epicenter in relation to where you live? We had a 5.9 about four years ago or so. Sounded like a freight train came through the basement! Rare for us but you guys are on the “ring of fire.” Happy there’s no damage and hope it’s not a warning of something yet to come.

      1. The BBC is reporting that the epicentre was 15km west of Masterton. Take care.

      2. As the crow flies the epicentre would be about 50Km from us but on the other side of the central spine of mountain ranges (not that that makes any difference). There was no noise with these ones, just the shaking. The usual pattern is the biggest shake comes first and then a series of aftershocks of decreasing intensity.

    2. Ooh – be careful – what about the rest of NZ, especially where the rest of your family are?

      1. Its all fine Kath. This is nothing like what Christchurch suffered just a few years ago. Just one of the little reminders that we are on the ‘Ring of Fire’ mentioned by Chris and never to take them too lightly. There have been no reports of damage, even from places closer to the epicentre than we are.

  32. A gentle, relaxing solve. No real hold-ups, apart from inadvertently getting the tense of 8d wrong.

  33. Like others, tried to do something with bras for 1a. Put spins into 22d,so that held up my 27a. 16d was my favourite. My choir does quite a few of those. Great fun. Thank you Jay and the 2Ks.

  34. The thought occurred to me with 1a that Jay might have been playing games. Undies . . . ?

    If you have the B as the first checker all the men are going to think BRAS. All the women are going to think that all the men are going to think BRAS so it’s probably right as Jay is a bloke as well.. Actually it’s the women who ought to think about the underwear and come up with the BRIEFS!

    Missed piccie opportunity IMHO :lol:

  35. Did this one this afternoon at breakneck speed. If there is one setter on whose wavelength I am firmly on, Jay is that man. Very good fun, no hold-ups or quibbles – the downside is that I seldom have a favourite clue theses Wednesdays, because they all slip in so quickly and the grin is constant. So ta to Jay and K-squared 1*/3*

  36. Apologies if someone has answered my query above, but being in the habit of starting the puzzle before going to bed, and hopefully finishing it the next morning with my cup of tea, I’m rather behind most of you ————that preamble over, can someone explain 6a to me? The suggestion from 2 Kiwis would appear to give the answer “BOUS”, not “BOOS”, but I’m obviously missing the point – no doubt a senior moment !!

    1. I guess you are looking at dropping the N from BONUS. The clue gives nameless benefits, which is a plural, and is an instruction to drop N(ame) from BOONS

      1. Big Dave – many thanks for putting me straight – it was indeed a senior moment – on re-reading the Kiwis explanation it does indeed say 4th letter, and I was trying to, take out the 3rd – oh dear !!!!!!!!!

  37. Just great.
    Slowly catching up but reading the comments makes me want to print that Brendan in the Guardian.
    Back to Jay.
    Very straightforward but fun.
    Liked 23a ( good horse) and 16d (quiet doctor).
    Thanks to Jay and to 2ks for the review.

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