DT 28136 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28136


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28136

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone – today we have a Ray T crossword. Apart from a couple of clues that I had a spot of bother with I didn’t think it was too tricky. As usual I’m more than happy for anyone to disagree with me.

I hope, as I’m sure we all do, that Ray T has not been affected too much by the terrible floods in Paris.

In the hints below the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under the bits that say ANSWER so only do that if you want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today and what you thought


1a            Spoilt star with nerves getting cross (10)
TRANSVERSE — An anagram (spoilt) of STAR and NERVES. I know I say this quite often but a nice long and not too difficult anagram to start off with is a good beginning.

6a            Stunner starts to bare all becoming excited (4)
BABE — A Ray T special – take the first letters (starts) of the last four words of the clue.

9a            Sweetheart wearing sacks for dresses (5)
ROBES — The middle letter ie the heart of SWEET is contained in (wearing) another word for sacks, not bags but plunders.

DrkGrn-l-Grn Gallery

10a         Stop swallowing most of beer, it’s common (9)
PREVALENT — A word to stop or keep from contains (swallowing) two of a three letter (most of) kind of beer.

12a         Insignificant balls in over seen in Test (7)
TRIVIAL — The Roman numerals for the number of balls in an over in a game of cricket are contained in (seen in) a test or examination. Even I know how many balls there are in an over . . .

13a         Knight perhaps clear in front of Queen (5)
RIDER — A verb to clear or do away with is followed by (in front of) the two letters for our Queen.

15a         Paragraph’s opening covered and checked (7)
PROOFED — The first letter (opening) of P(aragraph) is followed by a verb meaning covered as a building might be.

17a         Fantastic man? Not half! (7)
CENTAUR — This is a mythical creature – half man, half horse so “man” – not half. I think the expression goes something like “when you’re in a hole stop digging . . . “


19a         Most indiscreet break around tree (7)
RASHEST — A break or an interval goes round (around) a tree that is less common than it used to be due to a disease.

21a         Fold and quits holding King (7)
CREASES — A word meaning quits or stops contains (holding) the one letter abbreviation for the Latin word for King. I think this may be a mistake – perhaps the definition should be folds rather than fold. Thanks to Gazza and CS. I now have it on good authority that the online version has been updated – the definition is folds and not fold.

22a         Surprised expressions, catching front of perfect body (5)
CORPS — The plural of a word expressing surprise contains (catching) the first letter (front of) P(erfect). To begin with I thought I was looking for two different expressions of surprise.

24a         Body of motor first off contains dipstick (7)
CARCASS — Begin with a motor or a type of vehicle, follow that with the first letter (first off) of C(ontains) and finish off with another way of saying a dipstick or a twit.

27a         France possibly consumes the compiler’s life (9)
ANIMATION — France here is just an example (possibly) – it could just as well be Spain – it contains (consumes) how the compiler might say “he is”.

28a         Supporter, very ordinary one provides uplift (5)
BRAVO — The usual supporter, or what most women wear under their outer clothing, and then the one letter abbreviation for V(ery) and another one for O(rdinary).

29a         Greek god‘s angry being overthrown (4)
EROS — A reversal (overthrown) of a word meaning angry or offended.

30a         Measure beat in heart (10)
CENTIMETRE — This measure is a noun. A word meaning beat or tempo is contained in (in) heart or middle.



1d            Hasty repair securing part of car (4)
TYRE — Our first lurker, or hidden answer, indicated by ‘securing’.

2d            Bird by altar sobs uncontrollably (9)
ALBATROSS — An anagram (uncontrollably) of ALTAR SOBS.

Sortbrynet albatros lægger an til landing på Falklandsøerne. Landingsstellet er ude og fjerene på midten af vingerne viser opdriften.Steeple Jason Island på Falklandsøerne huser den største koloni af denne truede fugleart. Umiddelbart ligner det en måge, men den sortbrynede albatros er noget større - vingefanget er ca 2,5 meter og det er en halv meter mere end en havørn.

3d            Initially some uncooked seafood’s hidden in dish (5)
SUSHI — Another Ray T special a bit like 6a – take the first letters (initially) of the middle five words in the clue.

4d            English politician confined then cleared (7)
EMPTIED — Start off with the abbreviation for E(nglish), follow that with two letters for a politician and finish off with confined or restricted.

5d            The woman will put on endless varnish (7)
SHELLAC — A way of saying the woman will is followed by a three letter word meaning to put on or pretend to be without its final letter (endless).

7d            Change commercial about knights perhaps (5)
AMEND — The usual two letters for a commercial contain (about) some knights or other thingies on a board in a game of chess.

8d            Kirk’s ship‘s log on power increase (10)
ENTERPRISE — Log here is a verb meaning to make a record of and it’s followed by (on) the one letter abbreviation for P(ower) and a word meaning increase or grow.


11d         Set out for Himalayas, maybe touring Everest’s heart (7)
ARRANGE — Himalayas are an example (maybe) of a chain of mountains and this word contains the middle letter (heart of) Everest.

14d         Tapas recipe changed, missing Southern relish (10)
APPRECIATE — An anagram (changed) of TAPAS RECIPE without (missing) the abbreviation for S(outh).

16d         Delivers excellent rearing plant (7)
FREESIA — A word for delivers or liberates is followed by a reversal (rearing) of a way of saying excellent or top quality.


18d         Pass is tantalisingly going round teammate (9)
ASSISTANT — The second lurker or hidden answer (going round) – it’s in the middle of the first three words of the clue. This one took me ages to see – no surprises there.

20d         Substantial moggie up on roof (7)
TACTILE — A reversal (up) of a moggie, a feline (or a Kitty) is followed by (on) a verb to roof or put the top on a building.

21d         Gold item seen in court? (7)
CORONET — Begin with the abbreviation for court. This contains (seen in) one of the usual crossword words for gold and another way of saying an item or unit. Thanks again to Gazza and CS – I wasn’t too sure about the item in this one so I appreciated the moral support.

23d         Greek character holding smart beast responsible for charges? (5)
RHINO — The seventeenth letter of the Greek alphabet contains (holding) a way of saying smart or up to date.

25d         Work for a pound, with hesitation (5)
ALBUM — This work is a musical one. Begin with the A from the clue and follow that with the two letter abbreviation for pound, in weight. Finish off with a hesitation – not ‘er’ this time but another one.


26d         Model, outsize, getting into exercise (4)
POSE —The two letters meaning exercise, or P(hysical) E(ducation) contain (getting into) another two letters meaning too big.

I liked 12 and 30a and 5d. My favourite was 20d.

The Quickie Pun:- BLUR + DIM + AIRY = BLOODY MARY This caused me more grief than the whole of the cryptic crossword put together.


84 comments on “DT 28136

  1. 2*/4*. We’ve got some cricket, chess, beer, food, and a soupçon of innuendo; and I did rather like the image of a “substantial moggie up on roof”.

    I think the clue for 21a is missing an “s” from the first word, and I’m not totally convinced by the equivalence of “smart” and “in” in 23d.

    In keeping with the Lord’s Test starting today, I’ll nominate 12a as my favourite.

    Nice to see all the usual Ray T elements in place. Many thanks to him for an enjoyable puzzle and to Kath for her review – although I was a bit disappointed not to see a picture for 6a.

  2. A pleasant enough romp with no nasty surprises & I agree with the ratings! Also agree with Kaths comment about the quicky pun not nice. Thanks to the setter & to Kath for her review. just getting ready for a long weekend away in the motor home to new Alresford for a music festival, hoping it keeps fine but there again plenty of good pubs to frequent.

      1. You’ve been Baffled Bob and Puzzled Bob in the past which explains why you went into moderation with your ‘new’ alias.

  3. Some fun clues, like 6a 9a 10a

    Particularly liked 14d (misleading def) and 18d (great lurker)

    I would have been happier with ‘folds’ in 21a and ‘of’ in 24a, but perhaps the clues work anyway – could an origami ‘fold’ have many of the answer? Ah, just seen CS’s comment that 21a has been fixed now.

    Many thanks RayT and many thanks Kath

  4. I had my usual struggle with this one. Much thumbing through the dictionary and thesaurus to validate answers. I just don’t do well with RayT.

    I really dislike slang such as ‘dipstick’, 6a which I find demeaning and sexist, and similar creations.

    3*/2* for me.

  5. Short on time so just a quick one now and I’ll come again later. Much enjoyed. Typo was unfortunate but not a great hold up.

    20d is favourite. Also appropriate, as I’ll be hitting the tiles later.

    Many thanks RayT and Kath.

  6. Ray T , the marmite setter, you either love him or hate him.
    I got all the easy one including the anagrams.Then I teased and mused and scratched my head and eventually, not having all day , I made extensive use of Kaths hints.
    Well done , Kath , on unraveling this one.
    I liked 23d and 8d.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  7. Pleasant enough exercise. 21a rankled until Kath and other bloggers’ Comments above. Misspelled 24a so complicated 18d for myself. In any case had not heard dipstick used in that sense. Familiar with 6a in USA but not aware of its use in that context in UK. Thanks RayT and Kath. ***/***.

  8. Fairly plain sailing for me, until I reached the south east corner. I managed to finish without any help, but 20d, does the answer really mean substantial? 25d seems pretty tenuous and should 21a not read as folds?. 2.5*/2* Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the explanations.

    1. pete and Beaver,
      Re 20d – I was a bit doubtful too as I thought that substantial just meant large but BRB says, among other things, having substance, actually existing and real. For tactile, again among other things, it says perceptible by touch.

      1. Thanks Kath, will have to start referring to the brb,I usually just use dictionary.com

      2. I think this came up recently, I can’t remember the context, and I double-checked as I had never come across the second meaning, substantial or something similar, before.

  9. Started off at the N W corner, as is my habit and soon reached halfway , when for some reason solving slowed down for a while, so 2.5*/ 3*,like others thought ‘substantial; in 20a was questionable , but I’m sure it appears in some reference book-but not mine . Thanks Kitty for the Babe-watched the film again a few weeks ago and still loved it- liked to see that cat get it’s comeuppance .Wonder what pic Gazza or DT would have used !

  10. RayT in his usual form with lots of innuendo, hidden words and other trademark clues. I thought 6 was best as I am still chuckling. Spent a while over 21a until I realised the s was missing. Other goodies were 1d 14 18 24 and 28. 20d is a bit of a mystery as I have never heard this usage before. Thanks to RayT. Keep up the good work Kath.

  11. I don’t think I can recall a more straightforward RayT puzzle, maybe even Brian might like it?

    I realised fairly soon that it would tick most of RD’s favourite boxes (and mine too), and I also really liked the all-in-one 21d and the autobiographical 27a, but my favourite vote, as a fan of the original Star Trek, must go to 8d.

    As I write, England are struggling on a perfect batting day at Lord’s, I hope that my day out there tomorrow will bring us better luck.

    Many thanks to Mr. Terrell and to Kath.

  12. Never really understood the convention on unclued “a” such as “a nation” in 27a and “a range” in 11d.
    Nice to see our old friend from Star Trek in 8d.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath for the wonderful review.

  13. I thought this was a clever puzzle…like others I was held up int he SE corner and misled by the missing ‘s’ in the print versionof 21a….. 20d, though, seemed fine to me (when I eventually got it)….18d was a gret lurker and I liked 21d too…..

  14. Hurrah, completed my first Ray T!!
    Very enjoyable. I just needed a bit of help with 6a, which was last in.
    Lots of lovely clues, favourite was 23a
    Many thanks to Kath and Ray T for the entertainment

            1. Well done to you. I’m laughing too – could you change your name? Where did hoofityoudonkey come from anyway?
              I went through a patch of asking where people’s “names” had come from. I received loads of brilliant and funny answers. The best was from someone who called herself “Nanaglugglug” who said that her name was chosen because she was and she did!

              1. Not sure where hiyd came from. I always avoided my name in internet aliases. It was probably what I was called on a football pitch once, or at least a polite version of it.

    1. Well done toowittoowoo. Ray T is a master of the following

      Hidden words
      Reversed hidden words
      Acrostics. ( initial letter clues )

      When I get stuck on a Ray T clue I look for an indication that it may be one of the above. I too had left 6ac until late in the solve. The word ‘starts’ gave me the answer.

      Onward and upward.

      1. Thanks MP, that’s sound advice, I often find lurkers reveal themselves when I am utterly flummoxed by a clue.

  15. We enjoyed this though we didn’t think it as difficult as Ray T’s puzzles can often be, so we rate it 1.5*/3*.

    No stand-out favourites for us, just the usually high standard.

    Kath – shouldn’t the underlined part of 3d be ‘dish’, otherwise there is no reason for ‘dish’ to be there? Granted that the answer is, actually, uncooked seafood, but that surely is Ray T’s brilliance? Oh, wait, that makes 3d our favourite!

    ‘Fold’ in 21a is singular in the paper edition. Grrr.

    Thanks to Kath and Ray T. We may not get to the Toughie as Mrs Sheffieldsy has bravely said she will give her bridge lessons a road-test this evening and partner me!

  16. My heart sank when I first realised it was a RayT, and this time I changed my solving order. Instead of going through all the acrosses and then the downs, I got the anagram at 1a and then worked that corner first, and so on. Miracles, I found myself at the SE corner before I knew it, then hit a brick wall. I did eventually solve it with the aid of my gizmo, but some were bungins, e.g. 24a, 30a and 21d, glad to see they were correct.

    So, there you have it folks, my first solved RayT puzzle, and I enjoyed it. Fave was 20d, runner up was 18d. Sorry this is a bit long, but it’s not every day one gets to solve a puzzle by RayT.

    Thanks to RayT and to Kath for the enlightenment for some answers.

    1. Well done to you. :good:
      What do you mean, “Sorry, it’s a bit long”? This is shorter than everything I write every day – perhaps I should button my lip a bit. :unsure:

  17. Good stuff as always from RayT.

    I know I was held up by a couple of clues but I solved it ages ago so I can’t for the life of me remember which ones.

    Anyway really liked 6, 10a, 2, 8 and 18d. Favourite is 17a.

    Many thanks to RayT for a lovely puzzle and to Kath for a great blog. Always a pleasure to read.

    It’s sunny and hot again on the moors. Perfect for a G&T except it’s not the weekend. Does Thursday count as the weekend?

      1. Thanks RD! I think I need one having discovered I can do magic. I seem to have turned Hoofit into an owl (see above).

    1. I hate Wednesdays because the weekend ends on a Wednesday. Love Thursdays though. The weekend begins on a Thursday.

      1. Does that mean I can have another G&T…not actually had the first mind! I have had a salad.

          1. Yummy. Thank you! Never had that before. I’ve had damson gin and that is lush.

  18. Praise where praise is due, I found this an excellent crossword with some clever clues esp 27a and 1a. Only one point should 21a read FOLDS in the plural as the answer is creases or am I missing something?
    This must be the first Ray T I have completed before the hints came up..😀
    Thx to all

      1. Wow, Brian – I’m absolutely ecstatic – a real turn up for the books.
        Well, I just wrote that without really understanding what I’ve written – I assume it’s something to do with horse racing. We all know how much I know about that, don’t we? Oh dear!

    1. Wow! Well done, Brian. Next thing you know, you’ll be joining the Ray T fan club too.

        1. I just assumed it wasn’t actually Brian! But I’ll add my golly bongs too. Well done.

  19. **/***. I completed this puzzle anti clockwise from the NW corner which isn’t my normal approach. 17a was my favourite. Thanks to the setter and Kath for the review.

    Did anyone else have all the hints visible and only one of the pictures Kath inserted was actually shown unless I clicked on the link?

  20. Good afternoon everybody.

    Escaped the fortnightly biffing by Mr T on account of the caff’s Torygraph having gone walkabout.

    Swings and roundabouts…

  21. A puzzle of two halves for me, with top half going in easily for a Ray T, then bottom half not going in until lunchtime. Probably because I am hurrying to be ready for the ride to the airport. Will be attempting most days during as holiday, especially as it looks like a wet one. Agree with Kath that a couple of long anagrams is a good way to start off.

  22. Evening all. Apologies for my tardiness but we are having almost daily rail strikes over here. Anyway, many thanks to Kath for the review and to all for your comments, and congratulations to those who have finally cracked one…


    1. Thanks for dropping in RayT. Enjoyable as always. Hope the strikes get sorted soon.

    2. Thank you for calling in – it is, as always, really appreciated by everyone. It makes you feel like a real person unlike some other setters.
      Do hope that life returns to normal in Paris soon – we have relatives who live there so are very aware of what is going on over there.

    3. Hi Ray,
      I joined your fan club today, but don’t send me a request for a subscription as the annual one from the golf club has just turned up.
      Thanks for the puzzle.

    4. VVV late on parade – thank you Mr T for a puzzle that I could not complete due to an over abundance of food, alcohol and general ‘chit chat’ from Mrs SL and Jane.

      Secretly, I finished the puzzle ages ago (thanks for the challenge) but Mrs SL and Jane believe I’ve failed to fill the grid – little do they know.

      I have been told to offer my ‘devotions’ from Jane to Mr T :)

  23. Excellent stuff, much enjoyed. Glad it was not just us with the missing letter in 21a. Good to see plenty of innuendo today. Of course we checked the word count and can give a tick for all correct.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  24. A good puzzle that wasn’t too taxing, though the SE corner held out for a bit at the end. I won’t tell you how long it took me to spot 18d. :-) Thought 24ac was v nicely put together.

    1. Please don’t even think about asking how long it took me to spot 18d – oh dear. :sad:

  25. Excellent Thursday fare from M. Terrell. Great fun to solve with the half man being favourite. 3/3* overall. I shall now have a stiff drink to recover from Brian’s contribution.
    I remain , yrs truly, stunned…..
    Thanks to Ray T and thanks to Kath for her much appreciated efforts.

  26. I’m a big Ray T fan, although I sometimes find the cryptic easier than the Quick! I did get 18d but couldn’t see why, what a fantastic lurker. Thanks to great Ray T and to the wonderful Kath.

    PS Big Dave, I have been posting for some time but my comments still seem to be moderated, not sure why.

  27. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the review and hints. A most enjoyable offering from my favourite setter today. A touch on the gentle side. Last in was 1d, which was very well hidden. I liked 8d, being a Trekkie, but my favourite was 12a. Was 2*/3* for me. Android update has messed up my phone, so I’m on the tablet!

  28. 5a. Put on means act to Ray C, and 21a is wrong. Sloppy setting. I’ll do something else on Thursdays from now on.

    1. Was there anything you liked about the puzzle?

      I’m sorry but I think it’s very unfair to describe the setting as ‘sloppy’. Not everyone will be on wavelength, and yes there will always be certain setters that you prefer to others but they have honed their skills for such a long time I don’t think it’s necessary to have a go like that.

    2. Hmmm – the setter’s name is Ray T.
      There is no 5a – I assume you mean 5d in which case what is wrong with put on = act?
      21a is not wrong at all – there was a misprint in the on line version and in the paper. The on line version was corrected mid-morning.
      I don’t call this sloppy setting – I do think that it’s a rather sloppy comment.

    3. Golly bongs. A perfect puzzle for me. Sorry Sam. I could agree with you but then both of us would be wrong

  29. Thought I would get my husband to help out with this today whilst he was trapped in my hospital room as I recovered from an eye op. Op went well, but no such luck in getting husband to help with the crossword. Had to struggle on with limited vision. Thank you Brian for cheering me up today with your positive comment.
    Another enjoyable puzzle from RayT. I pencilled ‘mammoth ‘ in the border for 20d because of the ‘Tom’ up, but couldn’t justify it. Well done Kath for your splendid review. I used to love Roxy Music. I’m sure I’ve got some of their LPs in the loft somewhere.

    1. Oh Florence..when you said you had ‘a plan’ I didn’t think it would involve surgery! Hope you’re feeling better soon. :rose:

      Take care. I hope he at least read the clues to you! I won’t ask about the car shopping…but here’s another :rose:

      1. Hi Florence I hope you are doing well. Leave the Roxy albums in the loft but don’t pass up on a chance to see them live.

        1. Thanks MP. I’m searching now, but seems Brian Ferry performs on his own or with others, but not part of Roxy Music? I will search some more.

      2. Thank you so much Hanni, much appreciated. No, he didn’t read the clues out, he read car reviews on his tablet. I was on other tablets!!!

        1. I bet if he could get the car of his dreams by solving cryptics he would learn PDQ! Hope you’re back home. :smile:

    2. Following an eye operation a couple of years ago when I had to spend five days face down not reading anything, Mr CS tried reading out the cryptic clues to me but it wasn’t a great success – for some reason I have to see the words directly. It did work very well with the GK crossword.

  30. Started this very very late in the day and didn’t get far without resorting to the hints, for which many thanks Kath. Enjoyed the puzzle and the review and the dramatic comment stream…lots of controversy and Ray T calling in and everything. Fascinating!
    Thanks RayT, Kath and all.
    By the way Kath I am Called as I am because I am Welsh and I paint pictures!

  31. Did this one yesterday (Fri) aft because I lost a day on Thursday. Not the hardest Ray T but excellent clue quality and a very enjoyable solve. 2.5*/3.5*

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