DT 28129 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28129

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28129

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Early this morning, before we could go out in the car, we had to melt the ice on the windscreen. Guess this means we have had our first (albeit light) frost of the winter. The positive side is that it has led on to the beautiful calm sunny day that we have now. Much better than the wind and rain that has been hanging around for the last couple of weeks.
Mr Consistency, Jay, has produced the goods once again. For those who like a tipple there is plenty to drink in this one. We found it a smidgeon trickier this week.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on with it.


1a     In court, long for prestige (6)
CACHET : The two letter abbreviation for court gives us the first and last letters. Put a word meaning to long or yearn for, inside them.

5a     Al Capone‘s panic around France, oddly (8)
SCARFACE: We are looking for a nickname. The first, third and fifth letter of France are inside a word meaning panic or frighten.

9a     Disobedient in playing outside barn (13)
INSUBORDINATE : IN from the clue and then an anagram (playing) of OUTSIDE BARN.

10a     Fertiliser coming as a result of dog’s dinner? (4,4)
BONE MEAL : Old Mother Hubbard was intending to produce this canine repast.

11a     St Andrew’s cross, left out — that’s supposed to be funny (6)
SATIRE : The type of cross of which St Andrews is an example loses the abbreviation for left.

12a     Fliers fail, possibly, lacking the ultimate in moral fibre (6)
RAFFIA : The cypher for the Royal Air Force and an anagram (possibly) of FAIL after the last letter of moral has been removed.

14a     Carol’s about to tolerate bad language (8)
SWEARING : Carol here is a verb (not a blogger) and surrounds a word meaning tolerate or put up with.

16a     Fire it off after a quiet drink (8)
APERITIF : A from the clue then the musical symbol for quiet and an anagram (off) of FIRE IT.

19a     Checks test initially adopted by German cars (6)
AUDITS : The German cars with four rings as their symbol contain the first letter of test.

21a     Burst balloon (4,2)
BLOW UP : A double definition. Either explode or increase in size.

23a     Dutch show protecting flimsy socks, say (8)
CLOTHING : We think there is a misprint here and the second word in the clue should end in E not W. We have a Dutch type of footwear surrounding a word meaning flimsy or insubstantial. It has now been confirmed that the second word should be SHOE and that is what is in the newspaper version. Thanks CS and Kath. [The online version has now been updated to SHOE.  BD]

25a     Tyrannical writer from Italy changing sides halfway through (13)
AUTHORITARIAN : A word for a writer is followed by an adjective meaning coming from Italy once Left in the middle of the word has been changed to Right.

26a     Hide from animal, wielding sabre in front of family (8)
BEARSKIN : An anagram (wielding) of SABRE precedes a three letter word for family.

27a     Has a go at literary compositions (6)
ESSAYS : A double definition. Charles Lamb wrote an interesting one of these on Roast Pork.


2d     American state song about area cut short (7)
ARIZONA : A song from an opera surrounds a word for an area or district with its last letter missing.

3d     Virgin eschews top speed (5)
HASTE : A word for virgin or unsullied loses its first letter (which happens to have been a C).

4d     Bill left on slate possibly for seasoning (5,4)
TABLE SALT : The bill is a mainly North American usage for a restaurant bill, the abbreviation for left and an anagram (possibly) of SLATE.

5d     Almost certain advantage is more than is needed (7)
SURPLUS : A word meaning certain loses its last letter and then a word for an advantage or bonus.

6d     Fool — crossing motorway must be wrong! (5)
AMISS : UK’s most significant motorway is inside a word for a fool.

7d     Basset drinking coffee is given praise (9)
FLATTERED : The first name of the cartoon Basset surrounds a type of milky coffee. ( We did not know this cartoon and needed to Google check it).

8d     Church getting over new name and indication of rank (7)
CHEVRON : The abbreviation for church, then an anagram (new) of OVER, and the abbreviation for name.

13d     Two original elements in schnapps, perhaps (9)
FIREWATER : The other two original elements in ancient cultures (the ones we do not need here) are earth and air.

15d     With flag raised, make a speech and disappear (9)
EVAPORATE : Flag here is a verb meaning to lay down stones. It is raised by reversing the word and then a word meaning to make a speech.

17d     Punter’s beginning on beer, beer and beer (4,3)
PALE ALE : The first letter of punter and a synonym for beer is repeated.

18d     Story resulting from conflict with no end to war (7)
FICTION : A word meaning conflict or abrasion loses an R which is the last letter from war.

20d     Catch up with African organisation youth leader’s right to occupation (7)
TENANCY : A three letter word that can mean to catch is reversed and then a South African political organisation and the first letter of youth.

22d     Lay down and drink (5)
PLONK : Double definition. Lay down in a clumsy careless way and a slang word that originated in Australia for inferior wine.

24d     Hard, when accepting the Italian’s salutes (5)
HAILS : The abbreviation for hard, then a two letter synonym for when surrounds the Italian definite article.

For obvious reasons 14a has to be our favourite.

Quickie pun   beau   +   nigh   +   dull   =   bone idle

84 comments on “DT 28129

  1. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A super puzzle from Jay. No real problems, but quite tricky. Thought it might be a pangram for a while. Favourite was 17d. Last in was 3d. Was 3*/4* for me. On my way to Cardiff for a day out.

  2. 2.5*/4*. Not too difficult but as enjoyable as ever on a Wednesday and this puzzle has brightened a dull drizzly day. It’s amazing how often the same things crop up in quick succession. I think we’ve seen 12a twice recently and Carol puts in yet another appearance.

    There seemed to be a lot of drinking involved today, which is fine by me, and my favourite is a choice between 17d and 22d.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  3. Most of this was a R&W bar 1A & 3D then a Doh moment! Agree with the ratings & my favourite being 7D which raised a smile.Many thanks to the setter & the 2 K’s for a smashing review.

  4. Enjoyed this ….but then I always do when I can complete it unaided.
    Am I improving, or will it all go pear-shaped again in the next couple of days….time will tell.

    Thanks to the setter and to the two Kiwis.

  5. Always enjoy a puzzle from Jay. Quite tricky, especially the top left hand corner. 3*/4* Many thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis foe the hints.

  6. Just shows how we differ, Graham. The answer to 1a jumped out at me but many clues needed a bit more thought.
    Thank you 2Ks and setter.

  7. Always that clever bit of misdirection from Jay – today it was the worry that I might need to look up Italian writers and types of sabre!
    Much to enjoy in this one. My top three are 7,13&20d but there were plenty of other contenders.

    Many thanks to Jay and to our two frosted Kiwis. You’ve really missed a treat with Fred cartoons – I wonder whatever happened to them?

  8. Thanks Jay for an interesting puzzle. Thanks 2ks for parsing 12ac. Not sure that Fred is fair in 7d. And at 6d how do we gauge the significance of motorways? Is the M3 only half as good as the M6?

    1. I think we can forgive the 2Kiwis for not understanding the numbering of UK motorways. Despite the comments of others, I found this puzzle */** for some reason.

    2. The M1 tends to appear more frequently in crosswordland than the M42, M69, etc. The M1 is also the most significant, since it allows Londoners to travel to Leicester without encountering traffic jams on the A6.

  9. First of all Happy Birthday to SL. A little :rose: for you.

    A really good Wednesday crossword, as usual. I’ll go for 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I’m not sure that I knew Al Capone’s nickname – that one was my last answer – I’ve probably just forgotten it.
    For too long I tried to make the ‘socks’ in 23a a slang term for ‘hits’.
    I left the long 25a until the end when the answer had become pretty obvious.
    I liked 1 and 21a and 7d. My favourite was 22d.
    With thanks to Jay and to the K’s.

    The Kiwis hint for 10a about Old Mother Hubbard reminded me of when my sister and I were little and we got the last line in a muddle – instead of the cupboard being bare we thought there was a bear in the cupboard so now whenever we’re running out of stuff and need to do a big shop we say, “There’s a bear in the cupboard”!

  10. Almost read and write for me I even had no difficulty recalling the hound in 7D. Then I drew a complete blank on 25A, even with all the checkers in place. I admit to cheating with crossword solver. That’ll teach me to feel smug! Thanks Jay and the 2 chilly Kiwis.

  11. Thanks for the hints 2Ks. Heading to NZ early next year, so hope it warms up by then. You are quite correct about 23a – the good old-fashioned paper version has “shoe”. Another nice puzzle from Mr Consistent Jay.

    1. “Early next year” sounds like mid-summer to us. Don’t expect too many frosts at that time. :smile:

  12. Very straightforward and more gentle than Monday or Tuesday, so no problems in completing before lights outlast night – 1.5*/2.5* for me.

    Difficult to find an outstanding favourite, but I have three nominations – 11a, 25a, and 15d, and the winner is 15d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  13. I liked the dogs dinner (always use gloves) and the beer, beer and beer.

    For a long time I became obsessed with trying to get Machiavellian into 25a but it would never have worked…
    I once wrote a dissertation on Machiavellianism.
    I discovered I nearly was one.

    Thank you 2Ks and setter

  14. Really enjoyable solve.

    I didn’t help myself by pencilling in the wrong ending for 25a when I had the right answer bur fortunately I spotted that quite quickly. Took me awhile to work out which Fred in 7d.

    Lots of likes in 10a, 14a and 23a (as the they have bloggers names in) 25a, 3d and 22d.

    Favourite is the rather brilliant 17d.

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

    Heating is still on, rain is still sort of here…June…it’s June.

    Said it yesterday but Happy Birthday SL!

  15. Nice stuff as usual from the Wednesday Wizard. **/**** from us.

    Fav is probably 25a but there’s a lot of good stuff.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

    BTW, may not be around for the next week as we’re off to Tenerife tomorrow morning. It’s pommette’s 40th wedding anniversary on Sunday and Tenerife was the first place we went on holiday together. I imagine it might have changed a bit by now.

    1. Don’t know about you, but I just had my first Melocoton yesterday. Ready for three months of pure bliss.

      1. We had our first about a week ago – wonderful stuff. Nearly as good as the strawberries which have been particularly good this year but now are coming to an end.

      2. Don’t think I’ve ever tried one. Do they taste exactly the same as peaches – if not, in what way do they differ?

          1. Fair enough. Just that when I looked online it came up as a peach grafted onto a quince rootstock. Thought it might have a slightly different flavour.

            1. Something I wonder if Google is tailor made.
              Images of paraguayas are quite different from melocotons but remain quite peachy. :smile:

            2. Oh yes, they’re delicious. We used to be able to get them sometimes in the local farm shop when I lived in Cheshire.

              1. They are what we call “pêche de vignes”.
                All our wine producers have some around their vineyards. Must be useful for something but can’t remember why.

                1. If you want to see pictures you need to type “Peche de vigne plate”. We seem to have both varieties down here.

                2. I wonder if it has something to do with peach routes growing close to the surface? Then again I really have no idea.

                  1. Roots…it auto-corrected. Jane has just pointed this out on email, I think she was laughing at the time (Thank God she loves me) ….thank you Jane :grin:

                    But you never know perhaps the roots map out routes.

                    Love it.

  16. OK Pommers let’s start with the basics..flight time/no etc? I do like a bit of Planefinding, preferably when I should be working.

    Secondly..when is your 40th wedding anniversary? :grin: Although it’s really good of you to help Pommette celebrate hers!

    1. IB8393 Alicante-Madrid (1325CEST) and then IB3944 Madrid-Tenerife (1610CEST) tomorrow.

      Return Thurs next week on IB3937 Tenerife-Madrid (1405BST) and IB8396 Madrid-Alicante (2235CEST).

      1. Nice one :good:

        For some reason I assumed it would be a direct flight. No idea why mind!


        1. Could have flown direct from Valencia but the flight’s at a silly time of the morning and Valencia is about a two hour drive from here. It’s easier to go via Madrid at a more civilised hour.

          It’s probably just a coinicidence but it’s my 40th on Sunday as well but I don’t celebrate such things.

          1. I’ve heard some excuses for not forking out for a ruby in my time but not celebrating such things is a new one!

          2. Completely agree..go for the sensible flight times.

            Although I have just laughed thinking about friends of mine who a few years ago went on holiday to Aus/NZ for a couple of months. Children grown so off they went. They came into the pub and explained what wonderful cheap tickets they had to got to get there…just meant the odd stopover etc.

            Wonderful we all thought..”What’s the itinerary?”

            “Well it’s Newcastle to Amsterdam, then a flight to Oslo, over to Aberdeen, catch the BMI hopper down to Newcastle again where we get a flight to LHR, over to Amsterdam again then on to Dubai, Singapore and Sydney”

            (OK it wasn’t that bad but it really wasn’t far off!!)

            When we had finished drying our tears of laughter we all asked how long it was going to take..

            “Dunno about 4 days”

            Well how much will you save?

            Nodding enthusiastically “About £200 each”

            Never have we heard a flight schedule like it..

            Completely agree CS…best excuse I’ve heard for not buying a ruby. :yes:

  17. Good afternoon everybody.

    A very gentle puzzle today. Favourite was probably 11a.


  18. Lots of good stuff today, impossible to choose a fave, but 22d did amuse … so did 17d and many others. I rated this as **/****, last in was 25a, how clever was that!
    Many thanks to Jay for the entertainment, and to the 2Kiwis for the blog.

  19. Another hugely enjoyable puzzle from Jay. So many well-structured clues, with nothing too obscure or difficult. 25 across was my undoubted favourite, and overall I thought this was a 2*/4* crossword.

    I wasn’t around yesterday but I gather birthday greetings are due to my near neighbour, the Shropshire Lad?

    Many thanks to Jay for a splendid puzzle, and to the 2 freezing Ks.

  20. Really enjoyed this puzzle from Jay, with cleverly crafted clues. Amazingly finished at one sitting during breakfast without any help or hints, so was sure it would be rated * difficulty, so very happy when saw that the 2 KiWis rated it ***. Hard to pick a favorite, probably 10a and 5a equally. Now what shall I do over lunch?

  21. ***/***. Took a while to get going and not helped by 23a which was a guess for me and needed confirmation from the 2Ks – many thanks. Thanks also to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle. 17d made me smile and 7d needed a few minutes searching the memory banks to remember this cartoon character. Unlike the 2Ks our weather is improving daily.

  22. A lovely puzzle, so thanks to Jay.

    Our favourites were16a and 17d (so much beer, yowza). We found it relatively easy, but not read and write, so we rate it 2*/3*.

    Thanks to the 2Ks for the blog. We’re visiting Kiwiland in November, will the winter be over by then?

    1. Yes winter will be well over by November. It will be late Spring or if you prefer, early Summer. As in your part of the world, weather can be somewhat variable at that time but certainly warmer than we are just heading into. That said, Winters are comparatively mild here compared to UK. For example, lawn-mowing is an all year round requirement in NZ.

  23. A great crossword as usual, but for some reason it didn’t lift me quite as much as Jay’s work normally does.

    There was no misprint in my version. I liked the surface of 16a and the repeated drinks in 17d.

    Thanks Mutchly to the setter and thanks muchly to the 2Kiwis.

  24. Horrible weather, brilliant puzzle. Mr Capone is popular today, appearing in the Toughie. Thanks Jay and 2kiwis

  25. Very nice with few problems.
    Beautiful weather here, lets hope it lasts.
    Thanks Kiwis and Jay.

  26. Another superb puzzle from Jay, he really has set a very high standard in recent weeks.

    5a and 17d are joint-favourites for me today, but plenty of others were vying for top spot.

    1st June has arrived and the central heating has switched itself on again, I do hope the forecasters are correct that it will turn warmer next week…

    Many thanks to Mr. Mutch and to the 2Ks, and many happy returns to SL.

  27. Flaming June – tee hee – but at least no frost (at least not yet!) in this wintry spell. Never mind there was consolation in today’s offering from Jay which challenged agreeably whilst I tried simultaneously to watch Andy Murray pull himself together to beat Richard Gasquet at Roland Garros. South presented no problems but then North was a bit more taxing. Have to admit to a couple of bung-ins so thanks 2Kiwis for your elucidation e.g. with 25a and 15d (not sure that verb in first four letters of 15d, upside down, = to flag). Thanks Jay and 2Ks. ***/***.

  28. Hope that SL is celebrating his birthday in style.
    Joyeux anniversaire 🎂.
    Very clever clues as expected from our Wednesday setter.
    Liked the construction in 12a (fliers fail), 8d (church getting over) and 25a (tyrannical writer).
    Broad smile at 14a (Carol) and 17d (punter).
    Which reminds me. I must get more training before the meeting in York in October.
    Thanks to Jay .
    Thanks and good morning to our 2kiwis.

  29. Usual enjoyable fun from Jay – nothing too taxing but also nothing too easy. No particular stand out favourite but 7d did bring a smile to my face. Old Fred must be the oldest dog in the world – if he’s still going.

    Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and to the ‘chilled out’ 2K’s for their review.

    I read in the paper today that the use of punctuation marks, in particular the full stop, is in decline due to all the social media gift-gaff used by many people today. I’m glad to see that that isn’t the case on this site :cool:

    Nearly forgot. Thank you all for your kind birthday wishes – they are most appreciated.

  30. Very pleased to be able to comment today after only sporadic appearances over the past month or so. Health problems are taking a while to resolve, unfortunately. However, after a morning spent at hospital I was able to slot this little beauty from Jay home with minimum brain strain. Too many good ‘uns from my favourite setter to pick a top trump, but was most satisfied to get 25a and 26a at first glance. Many thanks to Jay and the Ks 1*/4*

    1. Good to see you commenting Ts, always a pleasure. Hope your health improves exponentially. That is a new word that I lernt today.

    2. Get well from me too and a :rose: to speed your recovery. Hospitals are no place for anyone who isn’t 100% – steer clear!

  31. A */** for difficulty, **** for enjoyment. Might have taken longer if 25a hadn’t been so generous in revealing itself with checking letters and the definition.

  32. So excited to actually finish a puzzle without recourse to the hints. This doesn’t happen very often for me, so even more pleased when it was rated as 3* difficulty (even though others didn’t all agree :-).

    Thanks to everyone for all previous crossword hints and help which have “trained” me enough to manage this amazing feat. Jay is now by default my favourite setter and I’m looking forward to tomorrow to see if the magic is sustained

  33. Good morning all. It is not yet daybreak here but the temperature feels like there could be a white covering on things out there and another calm fine day like yesterday in the offing.
    Looks like 23a got sorted while we were asleep. We explored all sorts of options on how SHOW could possibly be correct before we concluded that it just had to be a typo in the on-line version. Thanks to CS and Kath for confirming our thoughts.

  34. Good effort today, lovely crossword. A couple of issues:=
    1a held me up, I didn’t know the abbreviation for ‘court’, and the final definition was a new word too. Hint needed, but was obvious from the hint.
    12a was a new word for me too, I worked it out, the ‘fliers’ bit held me up for a while. Needed google to check the answer.
    Many thanks NZx2, great blog as we have come to expect, and to the setter.
    Just read the ‘Dutch Shoe/Show’ note, no wonder it took me so long to sort this.
    17d was fav

    1. From midnight when the puzzle was posted on line until about 11am your time the on-line version had SHOW as the second word of the clue. We understand that the version printed in the paper had SHOE. We left the hint as it stood as many people would have accessed the puzzle before the correction was made.

  35. Many happy returns SL. We are celebrating today too as husband retired yesterday. I did ask him if he would like to help me with the crossword today, but his response was that he would share my interest only if I read his car magazines!! I have to confess to looking at the review for a few, but only because I was feeling lazy after a rather good lunch out. Favourite was 17d. Thank you 2Ks and setter.

    1. Hi Florence,

      Really hope that he enjoys his retirement. :smile:

      Wait..were you looking at car reviews or the 2K’s excellent review?

      1. Oops. 2Ks excellent review. Definitely not cars. We did spend some time after lunch in a garage looking at cars. Surely that means husband owes me a bit of time on tomorrow’s crossword ? Hope it’s a RayT.

        1. I absolutely think that means you can have crossword time. I think it was RayT last week. Then again I am completely off on my days.

  36. Late on parade for this very good crossword from Jay. Nothing too difficult but very pleasant to do. Fred at 7a and beers at 17d were my picks of the day. Is Fred older then Bonzo?
    2/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Jay and to the Two Kays for their review.

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