DT 28141 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28141

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28141

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

At this time of the year a flock of Royal Spoonbills settles in the area of the estuary nearest to us. Over the last several days they have been joined by a couple of Kotuku or New Zealand White Herons. These graceful and elegant visitors add extra delight to our regular walking circuit.

Considering the pen-names of both setter and bloggers on a Wednesday it always seems appropriate to mention birds in our preamble.

Thanks for today’s puzzle Jay, we enjoyed it.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Hard up masochist may have been this (8,3,4)
STRAPPED FOR CASH :  Beaten or whipped, in return for a monetary payment. We decided not to put a picture for this one after a quick glance at what was available.

9a     Covering letter containing a bit of a shock (7)
RINGLET : The answer is hiding in the first two words of the clue.

10a     Financial adviser on course lists theory, dismissing regulars (7)
TIPSTER : A word for lists or leans to one side and then the first third and fifth letters of ‘theory’.

11a     Moderate at A level revising to get in institute initially (9)
ALLEVIATE : An anagram (revising) of AT A LEVEL includes the first letter of institute.

12a     Enthusiastic about one — not excited (4)
INTO : The Roman numeral One and an anagram (excited) of not.

13a     Quiet retreat, possibly, in front of a French military ruler (6)
SHOGUN : A synonym for retreat is ‘go back’. Read this as an instruction and put these two letters inside a direction to be quiet and the French indefinite article.

15a     Truth is greed, dropping love for English (8)
VERACITY : Take a word meaning greed and change its second letter, which is the tennis love, into the abbreviation for English.

18a     Open University engineers getting advance (8)
OVERTURE : A five letter word for open or not hidden, then the abbreviation for university and military engineers.

19a     Draw profit on short periodical (6)
MAGNET : The financial profit that is left after all costs and taxes have been paid follows an abbreviation for a periodical publication.

22a     Charge rent (4)
TEAR : Double definition. The first is to proceed at a rapid pace.

23a     Sack lay in hearth (9)
FIREPLACE : A word meaning dismiss from employment, and lay or put in order.

26a     King regularly invested in form of Maori art (7)
ORIGAMI : An anagram (in form of) of MAORI contains the second and fourth letters from king.

27a     Leaves one enthralled by prisoner captured by enemy (7)
FOLIAGE : The Roman numeral One is inside a slang word for a prisoner and all of this is inside a word for an enemy.

28a     Powerful contributor towards retirement? (8,7)
ELECTRIC BLANKET : A cryptic definition of something we have more use of in the bedroom at this time of year than most of you do.


1d     Butters produced by American farms? (7)
SPREADS : These butters are not goats or rams this time. A word that Americans sometimes use for their farms or ranches.

2d     True about point relating to an organ (5)
RENAL : A word meaning true has a cardinal compass point inside it.

3d     Bound to support Portugal and cheers for Spain in Olympic event (4,5)
POLE VAULT : The IVR code for Portugal, then how a Spanish crowd shouts its appreciation, and a word meaning bound or leap.

4d     Seduce chap losing head over charge (6)
ENTRAP : A polite word for a chap loses its first letter and then an informal word for a criminal charge.

5d     Made children obese here — diet’s beginning (8)
FATHERED : A word meaning obese, ‘here’ from the clue and the first letter of diet.

6d     Door opens, holding cord (4)
ROPE : Our second lurker, again hiding in the first two words of the clue.

7d     A strain on the ears, but this should be paid (9)
ATTENTION : ‘On the ears’ indicates a ‘sounds like’ and it sounds like a strain or a stress.

8d     Hurt, only missing line for balance (7)
HARMONY : A word meaning hurt and then ‘only’ after the abbreviation for line has been removed.

14d     Effective theatrical work, mostly a Lloyd Webber show sent up (9)
OPERATIVE : A theatrical musical work loses its last letter and is followed by the reversal of a Lloyd Webber show that is set in Argentina.

16d     Unaccompanied is better in cooking paella (1,8)
A CAPPELLA : A word meaning better or outdo is inside an anagram (cooking) of PAELLA.

17d     Good fliers attack independent street art (8)
GRAFFITI : The abbreviation for good, the airborne service, an attack or seizure and the abbreviation for independent.

18d     Reveal this person will accept company result (7)
OUTCOME : To reveal or bring from the closet, then the abbreviation for company and then a word meaning this person (the writer).

20d     Political wing the Spanish trapped in robbery (3,4)
THE LEFT : Spanish definite article is inside a word for robbery or stealing.

21d     House putting pressure on arbiter to meet a bishop (6)
PREFAB : The abbreviation for pressure, an arbiter in a football game perhaps, A from the clue and the chess notation for bishop.

24d     Unfortunately need to support Austria (5)
ALACK : The IVR code for Austria and a word for a need or shortage.

25d     Stag partygoer’s ending in Panama, perhaps (4)
HART : The last letter of partygoer is inside what a Panama can be an example of.

We did like 1a once again but could not go past 26a for our absolute favourite today.

Quickie pun    carry+Bing+ruse=Caribbean cruise

79 comments on “DT 28141

  1. What a splendid offering today, my first read through revealed only two answers but one by one they started falling into place, favourite goes to 1A with 18A a close second.Many thanks to the two K’s & to the setter for a in my opinion brilliant puzzle.

  2. Good fun, but I found it quite difficult. Favourite was 1a. Thank you setter and 2Ks.

  3. Quite difficult today, but stimulating. 19 across was my last solution – I had difficulty equating “magnet” with “draw”.

    1. DRAW here is a noun, and in BRB it can be defined as an attraction. Hence magnet and draw can be synonyms. We also had to think hard about that one.

  4. Agree with the **/**** rating. Second day in a row when it wasn’t necessary to resort to the BRB for the meaning of a word. 1a favourite. I would probably have finished a bit quicker if I had spotted the lurker in 9a – last one in. Thanks to the birds for setting and blogging. PS note to the 2Ks, shouldn’t American Farms be underlined in 1d and in 2d you have given the answer in the hint not the word in the clue ‘true’.

    1. Thanks for pointing out our error with 2d. It has now been corrected. We did toss up whether 1d could be a double definition and decided that we could treat ‘American farms’ as wordplay and hinted that way.

  5. Definitely harder than 2* maybe even 3* with 3* for enjoyment. Got 5d wrong and took me ages to suss 19a and 24d for some reason.
    Liked 15a and 27a, favorite was 1a.

    Thanks to 2K’s and setter.

  6. 6d was my first one in , so it was definitely a little harder than 2 stars for me.
    1a is almost my favourite and I am very happy that the Kiwis decided against an illustration.
    5d, 7d and 8d were also very good clues.
    I ‘m giving 20d top stop for it’s smooth surface and political sentiment.
    Thanks to the Kiwis for a lovely blog and for the updates on bird life in NZ.
    Thanks also to Jay.

    1. Having looked it up, Alan , I see there is a difference between theft and robbery , though theft is a part of robbery, leaving the threats or menaces out.

  7. I found this quite difficult but very enjoyable, ***/****. I would never have got 1d as apart from thinking of goats and rams, I have never heard of this expression in relation to a farm. Just about to give up on 9a when I suddenly clicked. My favourite as for others was 1a, brilliant!
    Thanks to all.

  8. I had GAINST for 19 ac. Gain = profit, ST = Sunday Times, and draw(n) (a)GAINST a competitor. I was rather proud of it, but I do think MAGNET is more convincing.
    This was harder than ** for me for difficulty, but very enjoyable nonetheless.
    Many thanks to all.

    1. Gainst for me also. Apart from that a tough but very satisfying result. So many good clues. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks for the review.

  9. Another cracking puzzle from Jay. Recent Wednesday’s have shown his crosswords to be consistently brilliant and hugely enjoyable. Like others before me, 1 across was easily my favourite clue. I cannot disagree with the 2Ks rating of 2*/4* either. Thanks to all three of our avian friends.

    Chucking it down here in the Marches for most of the morning.

  10. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. Another super puzzle from Jay. No real problems, except I thought 8d was an anagram of hurt & ony for a while. Bunged in 9a before I realised it was a lurker. Needed the hints to parse 3d. I noticed that 16d was in the Toughie recently, but Jay obviously clued it differently. Favourite was 1a. Last in was 19a, which took a while to get. Very enjoyable, was 2*/4* for me. Little bit of Blue sky appearing in Central London.

  11. I do look forward to Wednesday’s as Jay never fails to delight and delight he did.

    I knew we’d be in for fun when 1a went in.

    Highlights include the Maori art in 26a, the butters in 1d, 7d and 20d. 1a remains my favourite..hard up masochists, love it!

    Last one in was 9a, I just couldn’t spot it for ages..even though some might say that the ‘hidden’ bit was clearly indicated it remained all hidden.

    No pencils circles were needed today sadly, although I am trying to locate a missing pencil at the moment.

    Many thanks to Jay for a joy of a puzzle and to the 2Kiwis for your usual excellent blog. Love your heron pic!

    Cold and wet as always on the moors but I have ridden out twice, one heck of a gallop (but thrilling) the first time and gently (but wonderfully) the second, so I am happy.

      1. Thank you. And I am glad you asked Merusa. It is some keys in a log. :yes:

        I am unsure of the wider philosophy that they represent at this time. But I am working on it.

        P.S Is that you in yours? Hope the PT is coming on OK. :smile:

        1. Yes, with godson and his wife, who live in Jamaica.

          Am off to PT shortly and a HUGE thunderstorm is brewing. I do my exercises regularly, but my legs feel more and more wooden. I’ll get there eventually, must keep on trying!

          1. Such a gorgeous picture!

            Good luck with the PT, hope the storm isn’t too bad..and I am sure it will improve (although very frustrating at the moment for you I imagine!)

        2. I thought they were keys. Couldn’t see very well.
          Thought you took the picture to remind you where you put them.
          I’m forever looking for mine.

          1. That is a great idea! I do often lose mine too…despite having a dedicated key ‘spot’. I shall start taking pics of where I put things. :smile:

            Hope history goes well. When do her exams finish?

            1. I think the last one is on the 22nd. And then you have to wait two weeks for the corrections.

              1. Not sure how the French Bacc works…but getting corrections seems quite a good idea, although the waiting for results is hell. Have every faith she’ll do well though. Does she get party/present for end of exams?

                1. Yes. I have offered her a job in August when she comes back from Krakow.

                  1. Well that is a good thing, front of house or kitchen? :smile: Although I was thinking of more cake/macaroon/drink based things. Hope she enjoys Poland. I have never been.

        3. I have tried to change my avatar to a small lost log infused with graphite. Has it worked?

          1. Yes…that looks distinctly like a lost pencil. A poor lost pencil. Are you missing a pencil?

  12. Usually rate one star less than the 2 K’s, but this time the opposite applies , so a ***/**** for me.
    Certainly the wordplay was challenging and I found myself coming up with the solution then fitting it to the clue, improved as I tuned in to the wavelength .Nearly put saceur for 13a, as this is the name for the supreme allied commander Europe and this fitted the fodder until I solved 14d ! Thanks 2 K’s for the pics the Shogun looked like Darth Vader in drag.

  13. Either this was much trickier than Jay’s usual or I have detuned from his wavelength. I was really quite slow today. No matter: I enjoyed myself and got to the finish with a smile.

    I wondered why an own goal would be retreat (13a) … I can be a silly kitty. NW was last to go in – I missed the lurker for ages and spent a long while trying to get horned creatures into 1d.

    I thought the clueing for the second word of 3d was too close to its meaning in the definition, but that is a minor quibble in a generally brilliant puzzle. If I want to be really picky, I did say to myself that surely 5d is only having made a contribution to the making of children, and a relatively small one at that!

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis for maintaining the usual Wednesday excellence.

  14. Enjoyed the puzzle but found it hard to complete.
    22. Isn’t rent the past of rend? So shouldn’t the clue be “Charged rent,” and the answer “tore” ( which would not fit the crossword?)

    1. You’ve expanded your alias since your last comment in 2014 so this one required moderation. Both variants should work from now on.

  15. Definitely *** for difficulty for me! But all the clue-ing was fair and so also *** for enjoyment….

  16. Brilliant Wednesday crossword but more than 2* difficulty for me today – much more of a 3* and 4* for enjoyment.
    I spent too long trying to make 1a an anagram and I agree with others in being glad that the K’s didn’t find a suitable pic for it.
    As usual I missed both the lurkers – one day I’ll learn but maybe not soon.
    I needed the hints to explain the middle bit of 13a and got into a bit of a pickle with 4d – absolutely no excuses with that one.
    Not many anagrams today.
    19a was my last answer – well, something had to be.
    I liked 27a and 3, 5 and 14d. My favourite was 1a.
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s.

  17. Today the written exams for the Baccalaureate have started.
    It always starts with philosophy and the most popular subject was: Is desire, by nature, unlimited?
    I suppose that for 1a, it is limited to how much money you are ready to fork out.
    Daughter quoted Spinoza, Plato, Epicurus and Descartes. I’ll let you know how well she did at the beginning of July.
    As for me, I scored 20 out of 20 on this crossword.
    Needed the BRB to check the stag in 25d, the ranch in 1d and the sport in 3d (saut à la perche in French).
    Favourite is 7d.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

        1. No – yesterday is history. Tomorrow isn’t … yet.

          Sorry :). All the best of luck to your daughter, who I’m sure won’t need it.

  18. Pretty standard fare from our usual Wednesday setter and none the worse for it. Some really excellent clues which makes it extremely difficult to isolate one in particular, but I will have to go with the superlative ‘lurker’ and well hidden definition in 9a – lovely.

    Thanks to Jay for the puzzle (although I did wonder after getting the answer for 1a :whistle:) and to the 2K’s for their usual excellent review.

    1. Forgot the usual joke to accompany 3d (nearly)

      Olympic official to competitor – “Are you a pole vaulter?”
      Competitor to official – “Nein, I am a German”.

      Sir Terry Wogan ca. 2000 (I think)

    1. Thought that too but it would not fit! Our son’s boat is called Spindrift…

  19. I agree, super puzzle but a tad more difficult than **, but **** for enjoyment.
    There were many smilers, but 1a took first place by a long way.
    Thanks to Jay, and many thanks to 2Kiwis for their excellent review. I so look forward to your reports of avian life on Wednesdays.

  20. So much better than yesterday’s which I found a real struggle. Just a couple of problems with 23a (not sure about place for lay, bit weak?) and 24d (again lack for need, ok I can sort of see it but again a little weak). However, even so a very enjoyable solve although must admit Mrs B got about 1/3 of it done by the time I got back from a meeting. She is becoming quite au fait with the back pagers as long as she has a start. I think she gets a little faced by an empty grid!
    Thx to all

  21. Steadily, in no particular order the answers went in and eventually it was done. A very smooth crossword I thought, and very satisfying too.
    As well as 1a I liked 7d and I’ll nominate that as favourite. 2.5/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Jay, and thanks also to the Kiwis for their review.

  22. Things improved dramatically once I’d given up on the idea of finding an anagram for 1a and a specific breed of ram to fit into 1d!
    Wasn’t overly keen on 20d but, other than that, thought this was a great puzzle once again from Jay.
    1a rightly takes first place on the podium but I also had a sneaking regard for 28a.

    Many thanks to Jay and also to our 2Ks – I’m so envious of your Royal Spoonbills, still on my bucket list.

  23. Loved it. We did it first thing, online, with a cup of tea, in bed. Not been able to blog because we had to travel to Norfolk at lunch time and anybody who’s done that (the journey, not the lunch) knows that coming in to Norfolk from the north is tough going once you leave the A1.

    1a was the standout clue by a long way but it was a great all-round puzzle. Massive thanks to Jay, then.

    We agree with the 2K’s ratings – not too difficult, but really enjoyable fun. Thanks to them for the review, shame there was, in the end, no picture for1a.

  24. For me was more difficult than 2*! Like Kath missed the lurkers, got 5d wrong because 15a was not vOracity but vEracity and was stumped by 19a. I too thought 28a was sleeping draught but soon discovered that it could not be, dommage! Favorite was 1a closely followed by 28a. Today heavy rains in Hyères: thought I was back in India and that monsoon had arrived. Been absent for a while as we went to Italy for a holiday…

        1. We should have thunder too.
          It did rumble a bit this afternoon. Enough for one of my cats to hide behind a curtain.

    1. Where are my manners? Forgot to thank Jay and the 2KWs for their much needed review. Hope I redeemed myself!

  25. Good morning everyone.
    First off a special thank you to BD for rescuing us with the Quickie pun. We had got the wrong synonym for trick in the puzzle and as a result had missed the last part of the pun.
    It appears that we found this one easier to complete than most people are reporting. Apologies if you were led astray by this, but we were well within our two star time. Must be wave length familiarity.
    It is still too dark here to see what the day will bring us. Find it impossible to stay in bed long on Thursday mornings with all those emails waiting in our inbox.
    Cheers :bye:

  26. Thank you Jay and 2 Kiwis. Made an excruciating train journey which I am still on from London to Nottingham bearable. In fact I am glad I missed the fast train by 4 mins. Liked 1 a but not my favourite as it came to me too quickly. My last one in was 12a. Why? I ask myself. 22a I had but left until I had the checkers as was not certain about tear=charge. Spent some time researching Maori art which may come in useful for another time. 27a followed by 28a my personal favourites. Super.

  27. 4*/4*. Late today. I’m with Kitty on this one in terms of difficulty. I thought it was the hardest Wednesday puzzle I can remember but it was still very enjoyable. I needed the review to understand the wordplay for the retreat part of 13a, and also for 4d where I had convinced myself that the first two characters were a man called Len missing his first letter.

    The magnificent 1a was my clear favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. Yes – my 4d chap was called Len too. How did we both do this – surely we’ve been doing crosswords for long enough not to make that kind of mistake. Oh dear. :oops:

  28. Pretty straightforward for the most part, with a little pause for thought for 19ac at the end. 1ac appealed to my sense of humour. 9ac and 28ac seem to pop up every week in one crossword or another at the moment. :-)

  29. This was very like Jay’s puzzles from back in the day when I did the Wednesday blog – start with the downs! It was mostly plain sailing but with a couple of man traps hidden in the undergrowth (9a for one). We’ll go for ***/**** for this one.

    Fav has to be 1a but there’s a lot of other good stuff in there.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2K’s

  30. Quite difficult once again ***/*** but enjoyable 😉 Thanks to the 2xKs for the blog and to Jay 👍 Really liked 1a , when I twigged. Please keep us up- dated on the Royal Spoonbills 😊

    1. The Royal Spoonbills are a permanent feature on the estuary. A flock of about 20 that we understand are non-breeding juveniles. Most of the year they tend to hang out in a part of the estuary a bit more remote from where we are but during the winter often set up camp on the flats much closer to us.

  31. Late on parade today, but I couldn’t miss the opportunity of saying what a brilliant puzzle I thought this was.

    My favourite clue 1a set the tone superbly and clearly won the gold medal, with 3d and 14d claiming silver and bronze respectively. Perfection sadly wasn’t quite achieved as Mr. Mutch unfortunately used “support” twice, in 3d and 24d.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  32. The problem with answers being revealed has reappeared in the past couple of days.
    I try not to look!

    1. How do you access the website? Do you link from Google? Do you use a bookmark? Does the url start https:// rather than http:// ? Do you use a PC, phone or tablet?

  33. More difficult than I expected for a Wednesday. 19a was last in. Couldn’t get sketch out of my head.1d was new to me. Thanks Jay and 2Ks.

  34. I too considered GAINST for 19a, dismissed it, and reluctantly had to rely on our Antipodean friends for elucidation. Thank you. I may be a bit dense but “profit on short periodical” implies to me that the short periodical is at the end of the solution, not at the beginning. I am confused – but it happens easily nowadays 😂

  35. I had “gainst” too, even though I could think of no reason at all why it would be right! I suppose I just fell into the trap of assuming the “profit” bit would come first. Otherwise unexceptionable: say 2*/3*. No particular favourite clue, though. Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

  36. Hi from France, this was very tricky, only managed about 7 answers before I had to resort to the hints.
    Looking forward to the game today.
    Many thanks to the setter and of course the 2xK’s for the great hints.

  37. I did this one at home yesterday afternoon – and very enjoyable it was too! 1d: I reckon this is a double definition because there is no real cryptic wordplay involved. If it were a normal cryptic clue with a definition and wordplay, either “spreads” or “American farms” would work as the definition – therefore they should both be underlined as in a d.d. (I think). 2.5*/3.5*

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