DT 28117 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28117

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28117

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

We are having a procession of squally, thundery showers passing over us today. Much more like the sort of weather we should expect at this time of the year. Tomorrow though, is forecast to be much like yesterday, fine and sunny with temperatures that are still unseasonably warm.
It seems that the run of gentler puzzles continues with today’s Jay offering, but perhaps, thanks to this site, we are all just getting better at solving and might have to adjust our individual assessments of how long an ‘average’ difficulty puzzle should take to complete.

Please leave a comment telling us how you found it.


7a     Serving American in pub is reasonable (7)
LOGICAL : The serving American is a soldier and is inside a word for a nearby pub.

10a     Importance of report (7)
ACCOUNT : A double definition. The first definition can be used to describe someone with standing or prestige in a community.

11a     Open in case of pecuniary hardship (7)
POVERTY : The case of pecuniary here means its first and last letters, and these enclose a word meaning open.

12a     Sample to include old domestic appliance (7)
TOASTER : A sample or something offered for a gustatory assessment includes the abbreviation for old.

13a     Warning heavy drinker after detailed damage (9)
HARBINGER : A synonym for damage is detailed by removing its last letter, and then a word for somebody who has bouts of heavy drinking.

15a     Score century from the start in miserable game (5)
RUMMY : Start with a word meaning miserable or worthless and remove (score) the Roman numeral for a hundred from its beginning. You are left with a card game.

16a     Raise the bar twice as high — that’s hypocrisy (6,9)
DOUBLE STANDARDS : A double definition. The first definition is a metaphorical way to make something more difficult.

21a     Do talk about source of energy (5)
CHEAT : A word for informal talk includes the first letter of energy.

23a     Criminal syndicate has priority to protect funds (4-5)
RING-FENCE : A word for a syndicate or circle of people precedes (has priority) a receiver of stolen goods.

25a     Stuffy and bald, according to East Enders (7)
AIRLESS : How a Cockney could be heard to describe Kojak or Yul Brynner.

26a     Allure of girl disheartened with love for Paris (7)
GLAMOUR : The first and last letters of girl and the French word for love.

27a     Student in booze-up is a good mixer (7)
BLENDER : A synonym for the drinking spree that makes part of 13a includes the abbreviation for a learner.

28a     Sales spiel used with northern model (7)
PATTERN : A salesperson’s talk and the abbreviation for northern.


1d     Edges in wearing shoes — careless! (8)
SLIPSHOD : A word meaning wearing shoes surrounds edges or rims.

2d     Work on stage where there’s room to manoeuvre (4)
PLAY : Double definition. Room to manoeuvre could also be described as ‘give and take’.

3d     Person stopping for a lady’s top? (6)
HALTER : Double definition. The lady’s top is a garment held in place by a strap at the back of the neck.

4d     Delicacy of European Community retreat (6)
ECLAIR : The letters that signify European Community and then a retreat where an animal might be living. BRB gives an amusing definition of this answer.

5d     Patron saint Rome stupidly covered with copper (8)
CUSTOMER : The chemical symbol for copper, the abbreviation for saint and an anagram (stupidly) of ROME.

6d     Wild tale about Frenchman (6)
STORMY : The one letter that is the French equivalent of Mr is inside a tale or narrative.

8d     Person who presents in here vigorously upended (5)
GIVER : The answer is reversed and hiding in the clue.

9d     My face is fairly friendly (7)
CORDIAL : A three letter word that means ‘my’ or ‘goodness’ and an informal word for a face.

14d     Fuel for American state leader of Senate (3)
GAS : The abbreviation for a south-eastern American state and the first letter of Senate.

17d     Sort of income a Parisian made? (8)
UNEARNED : A French indefinite article and a word for made or ‘received as income’.

18d     Girl needs a new name (3)
ANN : A from the clue and the abbreviations for new and name.

19d     Expert must accept Botham, for example, being intransigent (7)
DEFIANT : Mr Botham’s first name is inside a word meaning expert or very capable.

20d     Bad language from son? Exhausting (8)
SWEARING : The abbreviation for son and a word meaning exhausting or eroding.

21d     Driver crossing river in a foul mood (6)
CRABBY : An informal word for a taxi driver includes the abbreviation for river.

22d     Finish in effort to be with it (6)
TRENDY : An effort or attempt includes a word meaning to finish.

23d     Pairs regularly wearing pink beads (6)
ROSARY : The second and fourth letters from pairs are inside a word for pink.

24d     Shortly put up with last of wire rope (5)
NOOSE : Reverse a word meaning shortly and add the last letter of wire.

26d     Look amazed as fruit runs out (4)
GAPE : Remove the abbreviation for cricket runs from the fruit usually used for making wine.

We had discussions over a favourite and couldn’t decide between 5d and 9d.

Quickie pun     calf   +   hoarse   +   ale   =   car for sale

77 comments on “DT 28117

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle. It took me a short while to get going but fell into place quickly.

    Thanks to the 2Kiwis and Jay 1.5*/4*

  2. Nice to be back on dry land after sailing to Channel Islands. Pretty good puzzle with no real hang ups. 22a took a little time to sort out but got there in the end. I agree with JonP definitely 5*/4* for me.
    Many thanks to 2 Kiwis and to Jay, just how do you identify setters. Always puzzled me.

    1. Hi Spook. The setters follow a regular pattern which is explained in the FAQs above

  3. Took a bit if parsing , but nicely clued for me, and like Jon P, found it very enjoyable, and had already decided on a**/****.
    Thanks 2K’S for the review-is that a Turner in 6d ?.
    Glad to see my old pessimist friend Mr R.Binger of Doom ( alias John Laurie ) making an appearance!

    1. We are not sure of the painter for 6d. Let’s just be safe and say “In the style of Turner”. :smile:

  4. Nice work out for the little grey cells. I don’t like the fairly recent trend of using ‘my’ as a synonym of ‘ cor’. My keyboard wouldn’t even allow me to type that 3 letter word without several attempts. Favourite was 13a.

  5. Fairly easy but quite enjoyable. I struggled slightly with the top right hand corner, I wouldnt call 4d a delicacy and needed the clues to understand 15a and 6d. 2* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment. Many thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the hints.

    1. I agree about 4d – most of them are massive and almost impossible (like Magnums) to finish without losing some down your front.

  6. Fairly typical Wednesday fare from Jay, with his trademark mix of clues, all of which were very solvable. 13 across just about my favourite, although 19 down gets an honourable mention.

    2*/4* from me, with thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  7. Good puzzle, very enjoyable. Top right corner put up a bit of a struggle but eventually capitulated. Would take issue with the illustration for 23d, otherwise thanks to all.**|***

    1. I know nothing at all about that kind of thing but what’s wrong with the piccy for 23d?

        1. Oh – see – I told you I didn’t know anything about it – at least I was right about that.

  8. Whilst agreeing that it was at the gentler end of the Jay spectrum today, with the usual entertainment value, I’m surprised no-one’s mentioned the really odd grid pattern. I very rarely notice grids or double unches but I couldn’t miss that this one was really strange.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

    1. I didn’t notice the grid – I never do – but I’m surprised that no-one’s mentioned the complete absence of anagrams, apart from a little bit of one in 5d.

    2. yes, I thought it strange too – is it a new addition to the DT standard grids, or did no-one else want to use it until now?

  9. I could more or less repeat my comment from yesterday. All very pleasant and enjoyable. My favourite was 9d.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis. Wednesdays really are consistent. Consistently good, I might clarify. :)

  10. The bottom half went in quite easily but the top fought me every inch of the way! Really disliked 15a which I thought a dreadful clue and even with the hint I can’t make account equal importance. For me a curates egg of a puzzle. ***/***
    Thx to all.

    1. Before I get a kicking from CS I have looked up Account in Chambers and it gives 31 definitions but importance is not one of them!

      1. The office Collins dictionary lists ‘importance, consequence or value” as one of the definitions of Account.

  11. Yes, not too tricky but enjoyable, as a Jay puzzle invariably is. Loved 15A. Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  12. 1*/3* or thereabouts. I confess that 9d and 15a were inspired bung-ins (albeit the answers were pretty obvious so not much inspiration required). The former was quite a good clue; with the latter I was just being thick. I think 19d was my favourite, but mainly because of the mention of Beefy (or “Iron Bottom” as some commentators in the sub-continent used to call him). VMTs to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

  13. A little more tricky than Monday or Tuesday and slightly more enjoyable, but still completed in a reasonable time – **/***. Now that I am able to tackle the puzzle every day, my brain must be fully ‘warmed’ up.

    Nominations for favourite 16a, 23a, and 5d, and the winner is 5d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  14. I do like Wednesday crosswords – I agree with the K’s about 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    Quite a good thing for me that today’s crossword wasn’t too tricky – don’t think my brain is quite up to scratch.
    My last two answers were 15a and 6d for no obvious reason but something had to be.
    I was a bit dozy with 2d.
    We seem to have had 26a quite a few times recently.
    Just one anagram – 5d – and even that was only a partial one.
    I liked lots of these so just a few are 15 and 25a and 20d. I think my favourite was probably 9d but general indecision seems to have struck.
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s.
    Raining again – off to be grumpy in the greenhouse. :sad:

  15. I didn’t like that ‘earned’ (17a) was most of the answer and clued similarly to the whole clue, or that ‘shod’ (1d) also appears intact in the answer

    but the rest was great, esp 7a,11a,12a,13a, 5d, 9d

    Many thanks Jay and 2Kiwis

    1. ‘S–hod’ is in fact split around’ lips’ it’s just that there the letter S appears twice.

  16. I usually start the crossword by looking for anagrams and obviously couldn’t find any today, so it was a slow start. However once I had a few checking letters and got on the right wavelength, it provided an entertaining and not too difficult solve.

    Thanks to setter and 2K’s

  17. Thoroughly enjoyable particularly, for my part, thanks to an (almost) complete absence of anagrams. Plain-sailing in the South but a bit rougher in the North. Fav 27a. Also not keen on cor = my for 9d. TVM Jay and 2Ks particularly for parsing first 3 letters of 13a for me where I had missed the de-tailed – d’oh. **/****.

  18. I really enjoyed this…always do from Jay.

    Last one is was 10a which I had the biggest mental block on.

    Really enjoyed 7a, 13a and 5d.

    Favourite goes to 9d.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for a great blog.

  19. Well I had this done by the time I reached Kings Cross travelling from Cockfosters,which for me equates to 1 star.So I’m fairly pleased with myself comparing others’ assessments;normally It is the the other way round.Thanks to the 2 Kiwis.

  20. That was a nice little solve, most enjoyable.
    I’ve never heard of 23a, but it had to be, so it was bunged in.
    I rather liked 13a, but my fave is 9d.
    Funny, such a dearth of anagrams and the strange grid.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis for the hints.

  21. Straight forward and undemanding. Pleasant enough but over too quickly. 13a was my favourite simply because I like the word. 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Jay, and the 2K’s.

    1. The trouble is that for any of us who do the hints the only access to pics comes from asking the nice and, usually, correct Mr Google images. If he tell us that something is what we’re asking for and we don’t know any better there isn’t a whole lot we can do about it.
      I once put a picture of an Italian city – can’t remember which one but as soon as I put it there someone told me that it definitely wasn’t the one I said it was and he was absolutely sure about that as he’d only been there the previous week and had even taken some photos – oh dear!

      1. I remember that. The fact is, in the scheme of things, does it really matter if a row of beads is really a rosary or just a pretty illustration to enhance the hint?

  22. Another solo effort while Mrs Sheffieldsy is in transit for her golf match tomorrow. Nothing too taxing and some nice solutions, as we have come to expect from Jay.

    Favourite clues were 9d, because that use of ‘my’ regularly catches me out but not today (hoorah), and 11a. I’d rate this 1.5*/2.5*.

    Thanks to the 2Kiwis, whose wonderful country we are visiting for the second time later in the year, and to Jay.

  23. Bottom half a breeze. Top half a real struggle and took forever to drop into place. Help required from the 2Ks to explain my bung in for 13a – just couldn’t explain the first three letters – silly me. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks for the review. Our grandson is entertaining us whilst the parents are spending some time in Las Vegas.

  24. Anyone liking anagrams will have felt very short-changed by Jay today, only one partial anagram (5d) in the entire puzzle, I can’t recall so few in a back-pager before. Against that, there seemed to be an over-reliance on inserting or deleting initial/single letters, my count of these went into double figures.

    Two clues stood out for me, 3d and 9d, even if “my” is fast becoming an overused device.

    Many thanks to Mr. Mutch and the 2Ks.

  25. I agree ** for most of the puzzle, but thought the north east corner very difficult. So have to say 3*, but thoroughly enjoyable. Never thought of EC for Common Market, because only EEC, which was a problem.

  26. Not the easiest but surprisingly the south west held me up , because I thought cheat was too easy ! Therefore no “C” , no cabby , anyfink cockney related puts me oft immediately ; so the hints were eventually needed to confirm 21a. Only 23a stood out . **/** Thanks to the setter and the 2 Kiwis

  27. Top half much trickier than the bottom half.
    Eventually came right, though 9d needed a hint, I’m not sure what ‘fairly’ was doing, I would have thought just ‘friendly’ would do, but no complaints really.
    26a made another appearance though this time nothing to do with Dorothy Lamour.
    13a was a bit of a stretch, I had no idea where the first three letters came from until the 2k’s put me straight.
    Thanks 2k’s and to Jay who I seem to get on best with.

      1. Thanks MP.
        Steady progress…Very enjoyable pastime it is too.
        Any progress is due in large part to Big Dave and this blog, especially the work that you and the rest of the ‘hinters’ do on our behalf.
        When I attempted these years ago, I had to buy the Telegraph (I was something of a ‘leftie’ then, so I had to make sure no-one saw me), attempt the crossword then wait (and buy) the following day’s Telegraph and try and work out where I had gone wrong.
        That was fine until the focus moved from crosswords to girls when my interest in all things cruciverbal went out the window!!
        It’s been great to take it up again..

        1. That is exactly how I used to do the crossword back in the dark ages, filling in as much as I could then trying to work backwards when the answers were revealed in the next morning’s paper. I guess a lot of us did until we found this blog, hurray!

  28. Thought this was quite a benign offering from Jay – just had to think twice about the definition in 10a and was slow to parse the ‘priority’ in 23a.

    Podium places go to 16&25a plus 9&21d.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks – most impressive use of vocab. in your hint for 12a!

  29. Spend some time on 3d (person stopping) as I didn’t know it’s other meaning but the BRB came once again to the rescue.
    Liked the choice of words today: crummy, crabby, bender and binger.
    Favourite is 11a (open in case).
    Éclairs in France are usually filled with a vanilla, chocolate or coffee flavoured crème pâtissière with matching topping.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2ks for the review

  30. Pretty straightforward, although the NE corner held me up a little. Unlike some, I quite enjoy anagrams, I find it fascinating how the same letters can make such different words. I’m not too keen on the single letters + word or insertion, so today was **/** for me really.

  31. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle from Jay as usual. Very strange grid. I solved it NE, SE, SW, NW. Just got a bit held up in the the last quadrant. Last in was 15a, needed the hint to parse it. Favourite was 3d. Was 1*/4 * for me.

  32. I always thought that the Roman numeral for a century of 100 years was C not M as the setter and the Kiwis reckon for 15a.

    1. Welcome to the blog George.
      For 15a the word for ‘miserable’ that you are looking for is ‘crummy’. Remove the C ( as you correctly surmised) to leave you with RUMMY.

  33. Good morning all. Still dark here but it looks like the weather predictions made in the preamble are going to be correct but think it might be a bit windy with the sunshine on the golf course.
    OK the picture for 23d. We deliberately entered Buddhist rosary beads into our search for a suitable image, just to be a bit different. We stand by our selection that they are rosary beads, albeit not the more familiar Roman Catholic ones.
    We agree that is was a different grid, made more work for us as there are 31 answers, a few more than normal, the Toughie has 28 for example. As well as that, the dearth of anagrams, which are always easy to hint added to the amount of thinking we had to do today. Not complaining though, it is always fun.
    Cheers :bye:

  34. Jay at his lightest, mostly. 15 a and 6 d took a little while to unravel.
    I enjoy Wednesdays crossword and Wednesdays blog . Funny to hear that the Autumn weather the Kiwis are experiencing is pretty similar to our Summer a week ago. Blistering weather is promised though. We will see.
    Thanks to all.

  35. A few problems in the NE corner pushed this into ** for difficulty, though full marks for entertainment value as always of course. 15a went in without fully understanding what was going on, so thanks for the explanation.

  36. My penchant for completing by pen caused some crossing out as I was sure 11a was savings and held me up for a bit. Never heard of ring fence and assume it came into use since we moved across the pond, but hubby believes he has heard of escrow referred to as such? 25a was favourite for a smile today.

  37. Enjoyable solve today.

    Very heavy rain this afternoon – fortunately I got the shopping done just before it started.

    1. Nice to see you checking in, Derek. I hope you are doing well and still enjoying those scrumptious meals! All the best.

  38. Speaking of people ‘checking in’ – nothing from TS. Please let us know that you’re OK?

  39. How long should an average ‘difficult’ puzzle take to complete.This took me about ************** .Is that quick or is that slos ??

    1. The convention we have is that we don’t quote solving times because that can lead to “I’m faster than you” type comparisons and can be discouraging to new solvers. There’s no ‘correct’ answer to your question – different solvers will take wildly different lengths of time. The important thing is not how long it takes but that you enjoy the process.

    2. Welcome to the blog Questasalse.
      We totally support what Gazza says above about ‘average’ solving times. We like to compare solving a cryptic crossword with eating a gourmet meal. It is something to be savoured and enjoyed. We see very little merit in only measuring how quickly one can eat it.

  40. I found this really tricky and was a bit concerned to see how straightforward most were finding it on reading through the comments.
    Perhaps just a dim day for me.
    But thank goodness the hints were there to make sense of it all. So thank you 2 kiwis and to the setter who challenged me today.

  41. Is anyone else having problems with the app version of the Telegraph puzzles? Or is it just me?

    1. You’ve changed your alias so your comment needed moderation. Both will work from now on.

      1. Oops sorry. That’s what comes from lurking for ages and ages and not making comments. The good news is that I’m getting much better at the cryptic xword … So I don’t need the hints as much as I used to …

  42. My after the event review of puzzle, hints, and comments is very interesting. For once most of us agree. Grid unusual, lack of anagrams unprecedented in my experience, needed the hints after solving to parse several eg 13 and 15a. On train north solved in double-quick (for me) time all but NE. Then had a head-scratching time before reverting to reading the Evening Standard. Re-commenced this morning and quickly got 6d which gave me a way in. Followed by 10a although almost (but not quite) agree with Brian. I think you see this more in the negative. This led me to 4d which I had toyed with earlier. I had been misdirected looking for the likes of caviar or truffles not sticky buns, and also by trying to reverse the EC. 15a was then inevitable but I needed the hint for the parsing. Thanks Jay “ingenious”. Thanks 2 Kiwis for the hints “ditto” and all of you for sharing experiences.

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