DT 28135 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28135

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28135

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings once again from Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud. The fine frosty weather that we spoke of last week is still with us and much appreciated. We are however keeping a weather eye on the storms that are wreaking havoc in parts of Australia at present. The usual pattern is that they will cross the Tasman Sea to be with us in a few days time.
Enjoy today’s Jay puzzle. We did.

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


1a     Person out rambling (11)
SLEEPWALKER : A cryptic definition. The person out is someone slumbering.

9a     Light altercation about sack (3,4,2)
SET FIRE TO : Sack or dismiss from employment is inside a 3,2 phrase meaning an altercation.

10a     Pretentious chap, note, expected back (5)
PSEUD : The two letter note that might be appended to a letter, and then a reversal of a word meaning expected.

11a     Joint liability originally accepted by Delia for cooking (6)
ALLIED : The first letter of liability is included in an anagram (for cooking) of DELIA.

12a     Nakedly asked and revealed outline (8)
SKELETON: Asked is made naked by removing its first and last letters, then we have a 3,2 phrase meaning revealed.

13a     Colt perhaps backed to achieve gold (6)
NUGGET : Reverse what a Colt can be an example of and then a word meaning to achieve or obtain.

15a     Annoying person one’s put in shade (8)
NUISANCE : The letter for the Roman numeral One and the ‘s from the clue are inside a word for overtone or shade.

18a     Weapon that’s Spooner’s chief boast? (8)
CROSSBOW : To find the weapon think of William Tell. We’ll leave you to work out how the Spoonerism works.

19a     Edicts from religious communities (6)
ORDERS : A double definition. We nearly got fooled into putting a word for belief systems in here.

21a     Fruit‘s appearance in stone circle (8)
PIMIENTO : A literary word meaning appearance, air or bearing, is inside a word for a stone found in a date for example, and followed by the circle shaped letter. ( This name for the fruit was new to us and needed a bit of BRB investigation).

23a     Thin fleece, navy on the outside (6)
SKINNY : A synonym for fleece used figuratively, and then the first and last letters of navy.

26a     Title-holder‘s depressing experience, losing head (5)
OWNER : A word for a depressing experience loses its first letter.

27a     Altercation with golf club recycling material (5,4)
SCRAP IRON : A word for an altercation or fight and then one of the main types of golf club.

28a     Timorous people cry as cadets in trouble (7-4)
SCAREDY-CATS : An anagram ( in trouble) of CRY AS CADETS.


1d     Support South American volunteers at home (7)
SUSTAIN : Abbreviations for South, the United States and volunteer army, and then the word meaning at home.

2d     Honour to be included in next Olympics (5)
EXTOL : The answer is hiding in the last two words of the clue.

3d     Invaluable and totally absurd! (9)
PRICELESS : Double definition. The first means having a value not able to be measured.

4d     Attention-seeker from area on border (4)
AHEM : The abbreviation for area, and a border usually of fabric.

5d     Attractive form of competition (8)
KNOCKOUT : This form of competition gives no second chances.

6d     Stagger around parking and drive off (5)
REPEL : A word meaning to stagger includes the abbreviation for parking.

7d     Late shifts covering study course prepared this way? (2,5)
AL DENTE : An anagram (shifts) of LATE includes a word for a study.

8d     String of words that could be fine in court? (8)
SENTENCE : If not fine it could be term of imprisonment or even execution.

14d     A log rewritten on China’s twilight (8)
GLOAMING : An anagram (rewritten) of A LOG and then pottery named for one of the country’s dynasties.

16d     People won’t work for such money (6,3)
STRIKE PAY : A cryptic definition of remuneration for people taking industrial action.

17d     Heart’s no different — it’s this water (5,3)
NORTH SEA : An anagram (different) of HEART’S NO.

18d     Ample evidence of debts to support policeman (7)
COPIOUS : The four letters used to supply evidence of debts follow an informal word for a policeman.

20d     Slumps, accepting Chinese philosophy and maxims (7)
SAYINGS : The three letter Chinese philosophy that is usually paired with yang is inside a word meaning slumps.

22d     Cash invested in amateur, ostensibly (5)
EUROS : Another lurker hiding in the last two words of the clue.

24d     This girl — and not her mummy! (5)
NORMA : A word meaning ‘and not’ and an alternative familiar word for mummy.

25d     Cheese girl entering union with no end of speed (4)
BRIE : Remove the last letter of speed from a girl getting married.

1a gave us a good chuckle and set the tone for the puzzle so gets our vote today.

Quickie pun   Styx    +    surround    =    sticks around

81 comments on “DT 28135

  1. 2*/4*. This was a very enjoyable puzzle as always on a Wednesday with nice smooth surfaces and commendably brief cluing throughout. I found this at the easier end of Jay’s spectrum and my only hold ups were due to our good friend the Reverend Spooner and the spelling of 21a which was new to me.

    1a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks. Great pic for 28a!

  2. BD. Could you please tell me the number of the first Toughie and the number of the first DT back-pager to appear on the blog, so I can search the site using the power of Google facility and have a look at how it all developed. Thank you.

    1. I’m certainly not BD but if you go to the top and click on ‘Introduction’ you can read about how the blog started. The first one was 29th January 2009 – I don’t know what number the crossword was.

      1. Thanks K. It was Toughie No 86 and the very first person to comment was Brian. That wasn’t the famous Brian who comments regularly these days, was it?

    2. I often wonder how the blog today compares with what Big Dave had in mind when he began.

        1. When I started I thought it would be just a few hints and a handful of comments, with1,000 page views on a good day, more usually 250-400.

          1. So not the close to 6 million hits a year, a wedding, birthday bashes (with CS’s cake and Jean-Luc’s macaroons), readers from across the globe, Rookie Corner, NTSPP, MPP and a fascinating range of subject matters discussed? Quite an achievement BD! :rose:

            Not mention the fact it has improved everyone’s solving ability…and given me yet another excuse to avoid bits of work.

      1. That one was copied from “Crossword Ends in Violence. The best way to find the early posts is to click on the Welcome post and work through from there.

        1. For many years I have failed to solve “Crossword ends in violence”

          How many letters?

              1. Thank you for the download of the book BD. I’ve just finished reading it and really enjoyed it

  3. Really enjoyable puzzle. Particularly liked 1a, 3d and 5d. A mixture of amusing and some quite clever clues. 21a was a new one for me. 3*/4* Many thanks to Jay and to the 2kiwis.

  4. Enjoyable and not overly taxing. My Spanish shopping trips came in handy for 21a. (That is the Spanish word for the item in question).
    Thank you 2Ks and Jay.

  5. A lovely Wednesday crossword – I agree with 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I spent a while trying to justify ‘sketched’ for 12a – luckily, following BD’s maxim of ‘if you can’t explain an answer it’s probably wrong’, I didn’t put it in.
    I didn’t know 21a – pimento, yes, but not this one.
    I know I’ll be in the minority but I liked the Spoonerism and 3d. My favourite was 1a – I used to do it and a very odd experience it is too.
    With thanks to Jay and to the Kiwis.
    Off to the garden.

  6. An easy ride for me today. I must admit to a few groans at some of the clues and answers, though!


  7. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A beautifully crafted puzzle from Jay. I was completely beaten by 24d, I would never of thought of the answer. Also needed the hints to parse 21a. Two made me laugh, 1&18a. I really liked 12a, but my Favourite was 1a. Was 2*/3* for me. Just clouded over in Central London.

  8. Very enjoyable puzzle, almost impossible to pick one favourite. So I won’t try.
    Thanks to the Kiwis, especially for parsing 24d. Thanks also to Jay.

  9. Very nice stuff from Jay.

    Couple of hitches figuring our 10 and 21a . Biggest smile came from 1a but lots of other likes inc 12a, 2d (took me awhile to spot),5d and 24d.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks for a great blog as always.

    The sun has gone but I’m still in shorts and t-shirt on general principle. I’m so cold. At least we didn’t get the storms.

  10. Just twigged the spoonerism in 18a, good job the weapon was obvious ! Like most a **/**** for me, and 1a the stand out clue, though I did like 4d for its surface and can’t remember seeing 10a in a crossword before-no doubt it will recur frequently from now on.
    Thanks to setter and the 2K’s for the blog.
    Still sunny and dry in Cheshire- look forward to a Campari ice and soda later-with a slice of orange, naturally.

  11. Very enjoyable until I lost the paper (in the car). Applying to upgrade to BT Infinity on April 1st has led to problem after problem and we now have no internet other than what I can access on my iPhone. Saint Sharon could lose her halo over this one. It has been so hard to resist saying I told you so.

    1. You haven’t looked properly MP. It will be under the seat. Papers don’t just vanish.

  12. A lovely puzzle, although I pondered over 14d and 21a for a while, and a nice variety of clues. **/**** for me today.
    Thanks to all.
    MP, I remember my mother saying to me once, ‘Well I won’t say I told you so but I did warn you’. It didn’t help!

  13. Great site thanks so much it will really help me get the hang of cryptic crosswords

  14. Just not on the right wavelength for this one.
    Thanks to the Two Kiwis for the much needed hints.

  15. Chambers came in handy too for the spelling of 21a and the second meaning of 3d (totally absurd).
    Liked 13a (colt perhaps) a lot but favourite is 7d (late shifts).
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

  16. No scaredy horses with this one but fun while it lasted. 10a didn’t spring to mind nor, stupidly, 7d. Thanks 2Ks for help on those and Jay for pleasant puzzle. **/***.

  17. I liked light altercation (9a), joint liability (11a) and the penny drop moment in 1a ‘person out rambling’, brilliant.

    Many thanks 2Kiwis and Jay

  18. I agree with most people here that this was a good fun crossword to do and I too rate 1a as favourite. 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kays.

  19. Hi. Feeling very dim but I just can’t see the spoonerism. Could some kind person explain? Thanks.

    1. You’ve lengthened your alias so your comment entered moderation. Both varaints of your alias should work from now on.
      For crossbow Spooner might have said Boss (chief) and Crow (boast).

      1. Thanks Gazza, I don’t think I have ever understood a Spooner clue without help

        1. As soon as I see a spooner clue I pass on. Eventually the checkers will throw up the answer. I would ban them completely

          1. PS – for some reason I’m assuming that HIYD is a bloke – how would I know? :unsure:

    2. Apologies Esther and Hoofit. Our aim with writing the hints is to help people towards the answer without stealing their penny-drop moments. It is a fine line to tread and we might have been a bit less than generous here. Cheers both.

      1. Strewth! As they say across the Tasmanian Sea – you’re up very early today!

        Thanks to both Kiwis – loved the picture in 28a!

        Thank You and Good Night!

      2. No need to apologise and thanks again for the blog. All I remember about Spoonerisms, is “My Lord is a shoving leopard” and “he left by the town drain”

  20. Agreeable but short-lived puzzle only 4d caused a problem , liked 27 and 28a **/**** Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis

  21. Just getting back to normal after the death of my old boxer Boot,named only because he was brown. He passed on doing what he liked best roaming the cliffs so that’s where he is buried.
    A nice crossword to get the wheels turning again thanks to the 2kiwis and to Jay..

      1. Thanks for that but believe it or not going to see a boxer pup at the weekend. Boot mark 2

        1. That is the best thing you can do, leave it too long and you tend to shy away from getting another one. Well done.

    1. Oh – how sad – I don’t know about having another one so soon – we’re still chickening out after a very long time – nineteen months since our amazing collie, Annie, was put to sleep as most people who have been commenting on this blog for some time will know. I still cry about her. :cry:

      1. Kath, that’s exactly why I think it’s a good thing to get one soon. I started looking about three weeks after Rufus died, and Sadie helped so much to heal the wounds.

  22. Agree with the 2Ks for the rating (and thanks for the review). I got 18a from the checkers but it took me ages to see the spoonerism – I dislike these in crosswords. Thanks to the setter for a relatively gentle but excellently clued challenge.

  23. Bit of a tussle but managed to finish unaided. Didn’t take any longer than normal but certainly taxed the grey matter. Really enjoyed this. Thanks Jay and 2Kiwis. Off to enjoy the beautiful weather.

  24. Brain in the wrong way round day. Took ages to get started but once I had first answer in all went smoothly. Nice Jay touches, thanks to him and 2Kiwis, loved the picture for 28a looks a bit the way I feel when faced with DT crossword looking for first doable clue.

  25. Yet another in a long line of cracking Wednesday puzzles from Jay. 4 down and 10 across were my two favourites for their simplicity and humour. I even didn’t take issue with the wretched doctor who put in a mercifully rare appearance.

    2*/4* from me with many thanks to the aforementioned and the 2Ks.

    The sun has reappeared after a moderate shower so off outside to read.

  26. Good afternoon everybody.

    Progressively more difficult and finished with two unsolved. Can’t explain why I couldn’t see 5d and couldn’t quite fit 21a together despite having some vague notion about the name of the fruit in question.

    Lots of nice clues as usual but would have been better still without the appearance of that man in 18a.


  27. Super puzzle! Lots of smiles along the way.
    In Jamaica we grow pimento trees that give us allspice, add the second “I” and you get sweet peppers.
    My knee-jerk fave is 1a, but I’m going to buck my impulse and choose 28a, simply because of the lovely pic.
    Thanks to Jay, and to 2Kiwis for the review.

  28. Pretty normal stuff from Jay so **/**** from us with 1a favourite, although I suspect I’ve seen it before.

    Flying back home tomorrow to the heat so prolly won’t be around until Friday.

    Ta muchly to Jay and the Kiwis.

    1. 21a – I had all the checkers P?M?E?T?

      I was hoping that POMMETTE was a small apple?

      Obviously Not!

  29. Later than usual today because I have been offering my services in the garden. Hot work, so I was glad when the rain came.

    This morning my brain was very slow to wake up so this took me a fair while. 21a caused problems and I accepted a little help there. I took far too long to see 1a. I was also bleary-eyed and fuzzy-brained enough to do a few silly things like trying to fit a Chinese girl into 25a.

    I liked lots of clues: to name but a few, 9a, 15a, 26a and 5d. My favourite picture is of course 28a.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis, a most excellent team to brighten up the dullest Wednesday.

  30. Another very professional and silky smooth Jay production, even if the Spoonerism was unconvincing at best.

    My favourite clue was 9a. In case SL was wondering if I’d object to two mentions of “altercation”, the answer is no, since they are synonyms of different words, not indicators or devices!

    Many thanks to Mr. Mutch and the 2Ks.

  31. All pretty straightforward and enjoyable, and then there was 21ac, which seems to have snuck in from the Toughie and for which I needed a little help.

  32. Morning all. Another cool crisp morning just about to reveal itself but as predicted in the preamble the forecaster on the radio is talking about a “complex low pressure system moving across the Tasman”. Oh well it is winter here. Our prediction about people enjoying the puzzle seems pretty accurate too.

  33. I must be alone in finding this a struggle. Normally I am right on the case with Jay’s puzzles, but not today. I needed a few to many hints. Oddly, I knew the fruit in 21a!!
    Many thanks to our antipodean friends for the hints and to Jay for the thrashing.

  34. Thank goodness, back on track today and really enjoyed this one from Jay, and managed to finish thanks to KiWis without whom I would not have got 10a or 20d, never having heard of sas meaning slumps? Favorite was 28a, both for the clue itself and the picture, adorable. Luckily 21a was not a problem as pimientos are common here in Florida, although I have never liked them, they just look good… Just about finished packing for tomorrow’s trip home so guess brain is no longer preoccupied with what to bring.

    1. The slump in 20a is “sags”, you’re missing the “g”.
      Have a great trip, hope it’s warm and dry for you.

    1. Anagrams do not belong in quickies and should be limited to one only in regular cryptic puzzles. The one allowed should have an impossibly tough to spot indicator.

      1. And to make it even harder for the solver they should have limited internet access and if they solve on paper that should disappear in the car as if by magic. :yes:

        Personally I would just give them a blank grid with no clues whatsoever.

  35. Enjoyed today’s crossword and the blog 😊 so thanks to the 2xKs & Jay. Did not find it easy so ***/**** Liked 23a & 26a 😍

  36. To borrow from the old radio cliché, long time reader, first time commenter.

    I really enjoy the blog, I find the hints very useful, particularly as I’m (re)learning the ‘language’ of cryptic crosswords. I’ll find it hard to put a difficulty rating based on time as many of you seem to do. I find I only get time to solve in intermittent periods throughout the day. Actually this is usually beneficial as I come back to a clue that had been puzzling me and for whatever reason on a second read the answer is obvious.

    Anyway, I really enjoyed today’s puzzle, I was stumped by 21a and even a google search of ‘fruit beginning with P’ didn’t yield an obvious solution.

    I’m definitely in the minority that I enjoyed the spoonerism in 18a, I liked the debts in 18d, and if I had to pick a favourite, it was 12a.

    1. Welcome to the blog Snippers. Sorry to be so long approving it, have just come in from playing golf. Look forward to you becoming a regular commenter now that you have broken the ice.

  37. Very, very late on parade tonight (today?). This is all because a certain lady from Anglesey has kept Mrs SL & I engaged all evening – God does that woman like a bevy or what :)

    Seriously, we have had a magnificent evening not talking about crosswords at all – just the people who do them (are anyone’s ears ringing?).

    Lovely crossword, lovely day – so thanks from me and Jane to Jay for the puzzle and to the 2K’s for their review.

    PS – Kath, I have confiscated the gloves but I fear she may have some hidden about her person. I wish you luck.

  38. Did this one on Wed. afternoon. Took me as long as Monday’s and Tuesday’s put together and was therefore averagely challenging a very enjoyable. 2.5*/3.5*. Yesterday (Thurs) I was tied up taking my mother to have an eye operation so didn’t see any crosswords. This afternoon, I’ll have 2 Quick and 2 Cryptics from the DT, the same from the MEN plus the D. Mail Cryptic (which has improved greatly over the past few months) to tackle. And when they’re sorted, I’ve always got several books DT Cryptics to have a go at. Phew!….

  39. Hi Dave, I’ve just struggled through 28135 with help from 2 Kiwis, but am stumped by checker between 21a and 17d. They give “pimientos” as the answer to 21a, which has 9 letters.

    1. Welcome to the blog George

      I have moved your comment to the post for DT 28135 – please always post there rather than on the comment page. We still get to see your comment, and the author of the post will receive an email.

      The hidden text is correct but the hover text for the picture is plural because the picture shows four pimientos. I’ve put the S in brackets to clear up the confusion.

  40. Humblest apologies for previous post re 21a. I have it sussed now :) Many thanks for a great blog!

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