DT 28123 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28123

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28123

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

All the talk about the goings on at The George have been reminding us of the great time we had exactly a year ago when we, quite by chance, were able to be at the event and meet so many of you. It still remains with us as a real highlight of our trip and we have been so envious of those who were able to be there this year.
Meanwhile winter has arrived here with a vengeance. Wind, rain, thunder and lightning and widespread snow in the South Island. We have been very grateful to be able to light our fire and appreciate its cheery flames while we solve and blog the crossword.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of today’s puzzle.


1a     Tripe, fish and chips, finally beer (10)
CODSWALLOP : A variety of fish, then the last letter of chips and a slang word for beer.

6a     How one might cook for brood? (4)
STEW : This method of cooking involves long slow simmering.

10a     Answer supplied to previous Italian course (5)
PASTA : A word meaning previous or happened earlier precedes the abbreviation for answer.

11a     Cold interior renovated as standard (9)
CRITERION : The abbreviation for cold and an anagram (renovated) of INTERIOR.

12a     Window when set in mortar (8)
CASEMENT : A short synonym for ‘when’ is inside a word for mortar, or one of the materials used for making concrete.

13a     Skilful student having been accepted for pottery (5)
DELFT : The abbreviation for a learner is inside a word meaning skilful.

15a     Works out, seeing others mostly surrounding a lad (7)
REASONS : A from the clue and a male offspring are inside a word that describes the ‘others’ once its last letter has been removed.

17a     Declines home visits (5,2)
DROPS IN : A word for declines or turns down and a short word meaning at home.

19a     Type that is wearing glasses (7)
SPECIES : The abbreviation for the Latin ‘that is’ is inside an informal word for glasses.

21a     Heat produced by converting coal runs island energy (7)
CALORIE : An anagram (converting) of COAL and then three consecutive abbreviations – cricket runs, island and energy.

22a     Everybody playing trusts this, oddly (5)
TUTTI : Alternate letters from two words in the clue.

24a      Paper put on record (8)
DOCUMENT : A double definition. The answer is firstly used as a noun and then as a verb.

27a     Sorry to repeat visit (4,5)
COME AGAIN : Double definition. The first is what you might have said if you didn’t hear correctly.

28a     Taking offence (5)
THEFT : The crime of somebody who steals.

29a     Drive off, with film finishing early (4)
SHOO : Take a word meaning to record on film and remove its last letter.

30a     Carol hoards stuff, just a few scraps (10)
SMATTERING : Carol here is a verb and is put outside a word meaning stuff or things. (This clue does rather accurately describe one of the writers.)


1d     Garment that’s a source of penance in church (4)
CAPE : A from the clue and the first letter of penance are inside the abbreviation for the Anglican Church.

2d     Slight gasp aired in uproar (9)
DISPARAGE : An anagram (in uproar) of GASP AIRED.

3d     Surge catching east wind (5)
WEAVE : A surge that might be seen at the beach contains the abbreviation for East.

4d     Servants need yen to be restricted by directions (7)
LACKEYS : Two cardinal compass points surround the abbreviation for yen as a currency. All this follows a word for a need or shortage.

5d     Neglected poor two-timed wife going off (7)
OMITTED : An anagram (poor) of TwO-TIMED once the abbreviation for wife has been removed.

7d      Material requiring time and determination (5)
TWILL : The abbreviation for time and determination or intent.

8d     Testing area of curve on subway? (4,6)
WIND TUNNEL : A synonym for curve and an underground passageway.

9d     Act on vote for mechanism legalising new handle (4,4)
DEED POLL : A word meaning an act and one for a vote or plebiscite.

14d     Basic principles of supporters with piles (5,5)
BRASS TACKS : Yes, those underwear supporters once again, and then a word meaning piles or heaps.

16d     Genuine refined oil in rag (8)
ORIGINAL : An anagram (refined) of OIL IN RAG.

18d     Plain this person is depressed by green set recycling (9)
SERENGETI : An anagram (recycling) of GREEN SET followed by a first person singular pronoun.

20d     Frenchman is up bearing cherished weapon (7)
SIDEARM : A word meaning cherished is inside the reversal of the French title equivalent to Mr, and ‘is’ from the clue.

21d     Fruit firms supported by eccentric (7)
COCONUT : The abbreviation for a firm or commercial enterprise is repeated and then followed by a word for an eccentric.

23d     Those guys should avoid hard Post Office beat (5)
TEMPO : A pronoun meaning those guys loses the abbreviation for hard and then the letters that stand for Post Office.

25d     Home treatment offers this measure (5)
METRE : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

26d     Party animal (4)
STAG : The type of party that often precedes nuptials.

The two with the greatest appeal for us are 1a, because it made us laugh and 30a because it so accurately describes one of us.

Quickie pun    filler   +   telly   =   philately

79 comments on “DT 28123

  1. 2*/4*. Another in a long line of consistently excellent Wednesday puzzles, with this one particularly notable for the brevity of the cluing – only one over the eight, so to speak!

    Nevertheless I do also appreciate longer clues when the surface reading is smooth, and my favourite today was 18d. 1a made me laugh and came a close second. 30a also deserves a special mention because Mrs RD’s name is Carole, and she is an inveterate hoarder – more than just a few scraps!!

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  2. Fun puzzle – I most liked 5d (I thought it was clever to come up with an interesting surface for a fairly mundane answer), 19a (type that is wearing glasses), 25d (home treatment offers..)

    and of course I liked 13a

    24a I imagine the two parts of the clue are closely related

    Many thanks 2Kiwis and thankyou Jay

  3. I agree, a fun puzzle that has just the right amount of thought required. Last in was 5d, too ages for the penny to drop. Learnt a new word in 22a but best clue for me was 1a.
    Agree with the rating.
    Thx to all

  4. Completely flummoxed by 3d and 10a …until I saw the hints.
    Obviously I am still very much a beginner as , rather than doh!, my response to both of them was..oh? is that how it works?

    Thanks to the setter and very many thanks to the two Kiwis.

  5. Agree with the 2k’s **/****,I like a puzzle when all the clues take no more than two lines each , as I lose patience with convolution-well done setter- excellent surface reads. Took a while to parse 5d-last in , liked 14d.Would like to visit 18d ( stunning 2K’S Zebra scene ) some day-better be quick before ‘the enemy’ catches up with me.

  6. The normal excellence we come to expect every wednesday from this setter.

    Many thanks to Jay, and to 2Kiwis.

  7. Yes, a great puzzle for a Wednesday. I have never heard of beer in 1a being called that before but the answer was obvious! Definitely on the mild side though very enjoyable. It went nicely with my morning cappuccino!


  8. No sweat for most of this but a momentary hiccup in the SE until I sorted 21a and 18d. I think “others mostly” in 15a is a bit simplistic. What am I missing – 9d was obvious but where does “handle” come into it? Surely 26d does not stand on its own but rather the animal is used to describe a type of party. Overall I enjoyed the ride. Thank you Mr. Ron and the 2Ks. ***/***.

      1. Thanks RD and others. I am of course aware of using a 9d for a title/name change but it can achieve many other things besides that.

        1. brb suggests it is:
          a deed executed by one party, especially one by which a person changes his or her name, originally having the edge ‘polled’ or cut, not indented.

          personally, I’ve never come across the beast.

          1. IMHO “handle” usually refers to a title or decoration (which surely cannot be changed by 9d) rather more than a name however I rest my case!

    1. In some areas of the country, ‘handle’ is slang for name, and the answer is the process of getting a new name.

    2. If you are an amateur radio enthusiast, your ‘handle’ is the identifier which you go by, essentially your name.

  9. What I would expect from a Jay puzzle, very enjoyable and a good challenge. Got all the answers but needed 2kiwis explanations to understand a few of them.3* for both enjoyment and level of difficulty. Many thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the hints.

  10. Reasonably straightforward, but not overly enjoyable for me (sorry Jay), and completed comfortably before lights out last night – **/**.

    I got slightly hung up on using carol, in 30a, as a noun rather than the verb it had to be.

    22a is a new word for me, but once I had selected the alternate letters a quick Google search confirmed that they made up a ‘real’ word.

    I think I have to have two favourites – 9d and 14d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  11. Like Ora, I was stumped by 3d – not helped though by having ‘pasti’ for 10a….otherwise found it quite demanding but do-able….

  12. I am a retired language teacher, and regard myself as reasonably good at crosswords. However, I finish the Telegraph crossword without help only about 60% of the time, and have never completed one in less than xx minutes. I attempt it about three times a week.
    So when I read some of your contributors saying it’s too easy sometimes, my advice to them is stop moaning, get on with the toughie and remember that there are probably 99% of Telegraph crossword solvers who never write to your blog and find every puzzle a demanding challenge every day. Your “hints and tips” brigade are the “crème de la crème”, the crossword elite.

    1. Welcome, very tiny dave.

      I think they mean that they find it easier than some of other puzzles, rather than ‘it is easy’ – I doubt you’ll find a crossword web site that is more supportive of new solvers and less concerned with solving times than this one – we give hints rather than answers, we steer away from jargon and we do not report solving times at all (in fact, you may find your timing example above will be edited). We think new solvers may be put off by reading other peoples’ solving times (though I doubt they’d be put off by mine).

      We don’t believe solving time is important for enjoyment and appreciation of the puzzle, but it is one measure by which people find themselves improving, which they invariably do by joining us on these pages.

      We don’t think we are the creme de la creme, but we do enjoy the puzzles and the community and we hope you will too.

    2. As a retired chemistry teacher I feel I should declare some professional solidarity with you as my solving skills seem to be on a par with yours. I’m definitely not in the “Read &Write” club. I enjoy the challenge and try very hard not to “cheat” although my electronic thesaurus is my new best friend. Is this “cheating”?
      I felt very self satisfied today as I steadily progressed through the crossword to be told on completion that some of my answers were wrong. Well one actually, 1d, my first entry, where by not reading the clue properly I’d come up with, what seemed to be, a perfectly good alternative piece of (clerical) clothing. Doh!
      Thank you to the 2Kiwis for elucidation from the Southern Hemisphere 😎

      1. I wouldn’t call using a thesaurus cheating, but I aways try and solve without electronic help. You may find that as you improve, you will rely less on the thesaurus and your solving satisfaction will increase.

        1. I think using a thesaurus is really just a time issue for me. The words are there lurking somewhere in the deeper recesses of my ageing brain but they don’t emerge into the light as readily as they used to do. With golf to play, a dog to walk etc. etc. crossword time can be limited – how did I ever have time to work😂

    3. Hello Very Tiny Dave. You should come and meet us all. If we are the creme de la creme of anything then heaven help the rest. Dutch your solving times will be be halved if you just solve the puzzle without holding a detailed inquest upon every clue. Faraday. Nothing is cheating. Use whatever you need to get an answer but do try to remember what you learn so you rely less and less upon artificial aids. Hanni. Put that pencil down, anagrams are an exercise in mental dexterity.

      1. Hello from me Very Tiny Dave, as others have said I wouldn’t get hung up on solving times. Just enjoy the solve. The great thing about this blog is the wide range of abilities and opinions.

        Oh and ignore what Miffypops is saying about using a pencil for anagrams. He’s all hopped up on shellfish and free ale…he always always writes letter circles. He just doesn’t like to admit it.

        1. The only thing used in solving by me is the tip of my index finger. When I use anything else I always let people know. What holds most new solvers up is reading the clues. Once you learn not to do that you are in.

          1. “What holds most new solvers up is reading the clues”

            Once again there are no words MP…unbelievable.

    4. Welcome from me too! I am also a retired language teacher – TEFL and French – and all I can say to you is do not lose heart! Use any means available to you – electronic anagram solver, dictionaries (you should see my battery of crossword dictionaries, dictionary of idioms and so on) but most of all read the clue carefully – sometimes several times – and use Big Dave Cryptic Crosswords “The Usual Suspects”. I did not find today’s very easy but got there at the end. Interestingly enough, often some of us struggle while others sail through the same crossword! I am French by the way and since discovering this wonderful blog I have progressed in leaps and bounds. Success is awaiting you!

    5. I have been doing this crossword for many years and it was only after we found this blog did my solving rate go up. I still don’t always complete, and it always takes two sessions, one at breakfast, and then hopefully completing over lunch or tea, depending on the daily errand/chore list. 60 per cent sounds pretty good to me. Most satisfaction comes when answers drop in place without hints or thesaurus help, but some days I really need both. Hope you continue to find this challenging and enjoyable.

  13. I made 1d to be COPE, which is according to the OED “a long cloak ecclesiastics in processions” made up from the P of penance placed in the abbreviation for the Church of England COE.

    1. Welcome to the blog, John.
      Chambers allows COE for Council of Europe but not Church of England which is normally abbreviated to CE.

    2. I also arrived at COPE for 1d, being the source letters from ‘Of Penance’ contained within the abbreviation for the Church of England, CE.

      1. Welcome to the blog, Twixie.
        To mean the first letters of two words the clue would have to say sources (plural) rather than just source.

      2. Welcome from us too both John Cooper and Twixie. It is a real pleasure to see new people joining in.

  14. Breezed through this one but, as always with Jay, thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
    24a was my last one in for no explicable reason – perhaps I’ve got used to looking for FT or some such when ‘paper’ is mentioned!
    Ticks beside 30a plus 9&14d but absolute favourite has to be 1a – still smiling over that one.

    Thanks to Jay and also our 2Ks – I’m sure you will understand that UK-ers are likely to offer little sympathy over your wintry conditions!

    1. Not sure what to make of your first line Jane. I will ask Kitty what she thinks.

      1. I see nothing untoward in Jane’s first line. I enjoyed the ride too. Jay has given a lot of pleasure today.

  15. What a difference a day makes I struggled with this one, finally putting in NE corner.
    Hope for better tomorrow.
    Thanks to 2Kiwis and Jay.

  16. The clues were a bit blurry this morning, which made it harder. All very enjoyable, my favourite part being 27a.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2K.

  17. Good afternoon averybody.

    I didn’t get on with this for some reason and finished with seven unsolved. First in was 1d after nothing across on pass one. Picked up after that but eventually came to a grinding halt.


  18. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A super puzzle from Jay as usual. Very enjoyable, quite gentle. Favourite was 19a. Liked the science clue 21a. Last in was 24a, perhaps I’m getting over my double definition phobia :-) Was 2*/4* for me. Nice to see everyone at the George yesterday, but this was made more difficult, due to the Parliament Bar having darkbulbs instead of lightbulbs :-)

  19. About ** for difficulty, held up at the end by 12ac and 4d (the latter which I thought, but it transpires I didn’t, know how to spell). Full marks for entertainment value, as ever on a Wednesday.

  20. :phew: Very good but tricky, I thought, so at least 3* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    Very cold here – my little grey cells are shivering – well, that’s my excuse anyway.
    I started off trying to make 1a an anagram – it wasn’t – then I missed at least a couple of the anagram indicators in clues that were anagrams.
    For no very clear reasons my last two were 24a and 8d with 18d not far behind.
    I missed the one and only lurker for ages.
    I liked 6, 28 and 30a and 21d. My favourite was 1a.
    With thanks to Jay and to the shivering Kiwis.

  21. Very enjoyable but on the difficult side.
    I never did get 9d, never even got close.
    As with the majority, fave was 1a, but 18d and 14d were hot on the heels.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis, keep warm!

    1. I got 9d with the help of cross checking letters but had to spend ages parsing it!

  22. Solved looking out over The Carrick Roads before Crab sandwiches at The Nare Hotel. A juicy puzzle from Jay so thanks to him. A juicer review from the quivering kiwis so thanks to them. Ain’t life grand.

  23. The usual Wednesday excellence that warmed me up after cycling home in the cold and rain
    Nice mix of relatively straightforward and some head scratchers. 8d was my favourite. ***/**** for me.
    Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis.

  24. What an interesting set of comments today and some new solvers !
    I solved it in my car as I hid from some aspects of Sports Day.Solving time ? Well I obviously won’t say , but considerably shorter than it used to be.
    In the eighties Sports Day was always scalding hot ( in Ireland that is over 25 degrees ) ; today it reached 13 degrees .This Global Warming is a disappointing affair .I wonder if the weather in NZ has changed much in recent years.
    A very nice puzzle from Jay.
    Thanks to the Kiwis and Jay.

    1. Una, to respond to the climate change question. We seem to be affected much like the rest of the world. A greater incidence of weather extremes at both the colder and warmer ends of the spectrum while statistics tell us that the average seasonal temperatures are steadily increasing year by year.

  25. Lovely stuff from Jay to brighten a baltic day on the moors.

    So many brilliant clues but will name 1a as the fave although 30a made me smile knowing who was blogging today! You got a name check!!

    Last in was 9d….rather enjoyed it when I figured it out.

    Great to see so many new people commenting.

    Think the heating is going to have to go on.

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

  26. I enjoyed today’s challenge from Jay. There wasn’t anything too difficult and 1a was a great way to start. That was obviously my favourite and overall a solid 2/3*.
    Thanks to Jay and also to the 2K’s whose weather doesn’t sound an awful lot different from ours really.

  27. Jay rarely fails to produce a top puzzle for us on a Wednesday, and this was certainly another in a long line of enjoyable and eminently solvable grids. There was a pleasant mixture of clue types, and like others, I really enjoyed 1 across.

    Overall this was 2*/4* for me, with many thanks to the Wednesday supremo and the 2Ks.

    Like Hanni above, it’s good to see some new commenters joining our numbers. I guess we will always get new bloggers talking about time spent. Time has very little to do with it. Learning, remembering, and enjoying the experience are the prerequisites. Beating the clock is way down the list. Finishing is what counts. The day I don’t get a kick out of solving the puzzle will be when I stop bothering.

  28. For reasons I can’t explain I struggled with a number of these clues but got there in the end (thanks to the 2Ks). My favourites were 1&30a. Thanks also to the setter. After a really enjoyable visit to our marvellous aquarium yesterday, we’re off to Granville Island today with our grandson and probably a spot of lunch at the Sandbar. Yummy!

  29. Such was the high quality of today’s puzzle that it’s hard to believe that Jay can deliver anything better, although I hope he’ll certainly not stop trying! So many excellent clues to drool over, for once I’ll avoid picking any favourites as I enjoyed them all.

    Many thanks indeed to Mr. Mutch for the superb entertainment and to the 2Ks for their review. It may not be quite as cold here as in NZ, but it’s unseasonably chilly in London for late May, and my central heating has just switched itself on!

      1. Sounds good to me as we batten down and crank up the AC here in South Florida…

  30. Managed to walk up to the barber for haircut and picked up a DT on the way – I hate to miss a Jay puzzle.completed over a mug of tea on my return before (yet another) little lie down, which I am still enjoying. Great stuff from the master with too many top clues to pick a favourite. Thanks to the Ks and Jay 2*/4*
    PS Heartfelt thanks also to all for your good wishes and kind thoughts. I am humbled

    1. Hi Ts. I wasn’t around here yesterday evening, but let me now add my best wishes too. I’m really glad to hear you’re on the mend – may things continue to progress nice and swiftly in that direction. We missed you in London, but your health is more important, and there’ll be other gatherings.

  31. ***/**** and I just love Jay’s artful clues ! Managed this all-on-my-owny-o but it took me ages…..9d was last in, though I’d twigged the meaning of “handle” from the start. Hm. 30a my favourite by far. Husband is hoarder, I am discarder, so he doesn’t like me looking speculatively at him when I’m particularly annoyed.

  32. I can’t remember putting so many ticks next to clues.
    Great surface all round coupled with superb construction like 20a (Frenchman is up) or 19a (type that is) and many more.
    So elegant when the different indicators blend in so well in the clues.
    Everyone’s a favourite except 16a.
    Thanks to Jay and good morning to our 2kiwis.

  33. Good morning all. Another weather related thing to report. While putting this together we had a call from a friend at the Golf Club. Someone noticed what looked like smoke coming from towards the back of the course. Investigation showed that a big pine tree had been struck by lightning, split in half and set on fire. A team of volunteers in wet weather gear had to turn out with chainsaws to clear it all away. All very exciting. Today is just dawning and looks to be a little better than yesterday but a strong wind is still blowing. we’ll just wait and see what comes.
    Pleased that everyone seems to have enjoyed Jay’s puzzle as we did.
    Cheers. :bye:

  34. Guess I’m having a brain fog day, or perhaps a Jay Day, as I found this a struggle, after several good days. But what fun would it be if these were easy? Typically I do find Wednesday’s harder, unlike most of you who are obviously smarter than the average bear 😊

  35. My wife and I spent several hours managing five clue answers. Not a very good use of our time, I fear.

    1. Welcome to the blog David.
      Our best advice would be to keep following this site and working out from the hints how each clue is put together. We all started with experiences just like you describe and can assure you that it does eventually come more easily. Keep at it!.

    2. David,
      I was where you were a few months back. Persevere with it, it’s worth it…
      Good luck

  36. First rate puzzle.
    I needed a few hints as I thought that was quite tricky.
    14d was my favourite.
    Thanks to our antipodean friends for their lovely blog…..
    Thanks Jay, great stuff.

  37. Again the answers are not shielded – I hate to see the answer when I just want to bandy the clue around.

    1. Welcome to the blog Val.
      The problem you mention is one that some people are experiencing but not everyone. BigDave has been working at it for ages. One thing that does seem to help for many is to alter the address in the search bar. If it starts https change this to just http . I am not at all techie so can’t explain how this works. Good luck.

  38. Finished this on the train journey from Penzance to Paddington and needed most of the time ***/*** along with some others I was in the cope rather than cape camp 😳 For some reason could not fathom out 15a 😥 Liked liked 1a & 29a Thanks to the 2x Ks and to Jay 😊

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