DT 28148 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28148

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28148

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from Ottawa, where the calendar says we are barely out of spring but the thermometer tells us we are in mid-summer.

I do wonder how much attention my review will get today as many of you have a very momentous decision to make. Ironically, I also wrote the review on September 18, 2014 — the day of the referendum on Scottish independence.

There is no doubt that the puzzle today is from Ray T, perhaps a tad less difficult than usual and with the innuendo toned down a bit. However, I suspect that the puzzle will garner mixed reviews. While I whipped through it in a very quick time, many of the solutions came almost through intuition or gut feel. Clearly, I was tuned precisely to the correct wavelength. Those who are even slightly off frequency will likely experience a tougher solve.

The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers can be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons (so please don’t click if you don’t want to see the answer).

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.


1a   Senior detectives excuse certain offence (11)
DISPLEASURE — a charade of the usual suspect for senior detectives, an earnest appeal or excuse, and a synonym for certain

10a   Crown’s upset about London leader in foreign city (5)
SPLIT — a reversal of another term for the uppermost part together with the ‘S wrapped around the initial letter of London

11a   Crew leader sat in bow disturbed surrounding area (9)
BOATSWAIN — an anagram (disturbed) of SAT IN BOW containing A(rea)

12a   A refined man accepts mere tailored fitting (9)
AGREEMENT — A (from the clue) and a colloquial term for a refined man into which is inserted an anagram (tailored) of MERE

13a   Initially insect metamorphosed and got out (5)
IMAGO — the initial letters of the final five words of the clue spell the name of the sexually mature adult insect that emerges from a cocoon having metamorphosed from a larva

14a   Delayed housing over cold spot (6)
LOCATE — a synonym for delayed containing O(ver) and C(old)

16a   Ample nurse goes nearly crazy (8)
GENEROUS — an anagram (crazy) of NURSE and nearly all of GOE(s)

18a   Strong opening taking practically all wickets (8)
STALWART — a synonym for opening or beginning containing AL(l) and W(ickets); the truncation of the word AL(l) being indicated by practically (very nearly)

20a   Gutted after opening for Spurs got a goal (6)
SCORED — the initial letter of S(purs) followed by a verb meaning to remove the insides from (an apple, for instance)

23a   Chart the French Canadian symbol’s origin (5)
MAPLE — a charade of a chart of the earth’s surface and a French definite article is where Canada’s national symbol grows

24a   Part of trapper for mercurial actor (9)
PERFORMER — our first lurker of the day

26a   Young man who, on reflection, went west? (9)
NARCISSUS — not the recipient of advice from American author Horace Greeley but a Greek lad who fell in love with his reflection in a pool and pined away, becoming the flower that bears his name

27a   Boring thing, holding iron over suit (5)
BEFIT — an implement used for boring holes containing a reversal (over) of a chemist’s symbol for iron

28a   Real patriot agitated working classes (11)
PROLETARIAT — an anagram (agitated) of the first two words of the clue


2d   Good-for-nothing compiler had line with Queen (5)
IDLER — how the compiler himself might express “the compiler had”, L(ine), and the regnal cypher of Her Majestry’s regnal cypher

3d   Forgiving one found in clear (7)
PATIENT — the Roman numeral for one inserted into a word meaning clear or very evident

4d   Assemble Mercedes securing badge (6)
EMBLEM — our second lurker of the day

5d   More revealing view seen on stage (8)
SCANTIER — a quick perusal preceding (on in a down clue) a synonym for stage (for those who may doubt the latter, it is in the BRB)

6d   Break sleep embracing devoted sweetheart (7)
RESPITE — start with a synonym for sleep (or even just relaxation) around a short word meaning religiously devoted; then add the middle letter (heart) of (sw)E(et) at the end

7d   Basement’s hit in explosion burying large foundation (13)
ESTABLISHMENT — an anagram (in explosion) of the first two words of the clue containing (burying) L(arge)

8d   Tip about a pound for fancy man (8)
PARAMOUR — a verb meaning to tip (for instance, cream from a pitcher) is wrapped around the A (from the clue) and a verb denoting to hit forcefully; fancy man is an old-fashioned term for a lover

9d   Careless criminal team imprisoned by smart judge (13)
INCONSIDERATE — a criminal and a team together are enclosed by an adjective denoting smart or trendy and a verb meaning to judge

15d   Drink for winners capturing hero’s heart (8)
CHAMPERS — an informal term for winners containing the middle two letters (heart) of (h)ER(o); one side or the other will likely be indulging in this drink today while their opponents drown their sorrows in a non-celebratory fashion

17d   Stand to top very big gangster’s offer (8)
PROPOSAL — a support sits atop the designation for a very big article of clothing and the name of Crosswordland’s resident gangster

19d   More frail and tiny pass on resistance (7)
WEEDIER — a charade of a typically Scottish word for tiny, a verb meaning to kick the bucket, and the symbol for electrical resistance

21d   Equipment &npsp;belt? (7)
CLOBBER — double definition; the first being a slang term for personal belongings and the second a verb meaning to hit forcefully (not the one in 8d)

22d   Good health? Mine’s swallowing endless red! (6)
PROSIT — another word for a mine containing almost all of a flowery shade of red

25d   Perfect half of family raised in criminal society (5)
MAFIA — start with Lloyd’s designation for a ship in excellent condition and (the first) half of FAM(ily); then reverse the whole lot (raised in a down clue).

Several clues contended for favourite today. I smiled at the encounter between the compiler and Her Majesty in 2d, 5d (revealing view) and 16a (ample nurse) conjured up interesting images in my mind, and I dare not fail to mention 23a (Canadian symbol). However, overall honours go to 26a (American visionary meets Greek visionary).

The Quick Crossword pun: bear+done+ales=bed of nails

88 comments on “DT 28148

  1. 4*/4*. Unlike Falcon I found this harder than usual for a Ray T puzzle with the SW corner taking as long as the other three quarters in total. 18a was my last one in.

    Even with the aid of my BRB, I’m struggling to see how the answer to 12a can be a synonym for “fitting”. Can someone (Gazza?) please offer a sentence illustrating the equivalence of the two words?

    Many thanks to Ray T for yet another entertaining puzzle, and to Falcon for his excellent review as ever.

      1. Thanks, Dutch. That’s a very creative suggestion and far better than anything I could think of, but it is rather clunky and one would probably want to use “fit” instead of “fitting” in that construction.

        Oops. Of course I should have written “… than anything of which I could think”.

    1. Perhaps agreement is being used in the archaic sense of an embellishment and fitting in the sense of anything used in fitting up, especially (in plural) equipment accessories.

  2. Think you’ve got it spot on, Falcon. If you’re tuned into Mr. T then the answers flow and the parsing follows. All the usual trademarks – HM, innuendo, word count, sports questions that aren’t and those initial letter clues. I did, however, need to check the spelling of 22d today to make sure I’d got it right!
    Plenty to enjoy – my podium places go to 1,16&23a plus 2d.

    Devotions to Mr. T and many thanks to Falcon for a splendid blog.

  3. Found this very difficult today, needed hints for many and even then couldn’t parse some. Must be that kind of day ! At least the rain has stopped so off to vote now..

    Thanks to Falcon and setter.

  4. Definitely one the people who was “off frequency” today. Completed it but just over 3* time so agree with jaycat’s 4*/2.5*. 13a and 20a favourites. Decided to vote before I started the crossword this morning.

  5. I’m in the “harder than usual” camp. For me it was smooth sailing for about the first half of this, before entering choppy waters and having to put in considerably more effort. My difficulties weren’t confined to a particular area. I expect a bit more cheekiness from this setter, so am not quite as satisfied as I usually am on a RayT Thursday. Still, no complaints and plenty of enjoyment. I liked 2d and 5d, but my favourite today is 6d because it is needed.

    Many thanks to RayT and Falcon (I needed you for the quickie pun!).

    Off shortly to vote before heading to work. After all the lies we’ve been told recently, I feel like voting to leave the human race. At least it’ll soon be over.

      1. Thanks from me as well, BD. I’ve been wandering around trying to make sense of it for ages!

    1. How about starting a cats, dogs & rabbits union? They don’t tell lies, and are cuter and much nicer to cuddle than politicians.

  6. A bit of a curate’s egg this one. Two easy lurkers, several relatively straightforward anagrams but then some really difficult clues. I found 8d difficult to understand even with Falcon’s tip and anagram clues (16a) which are ‘nearly’ anagrams drive me to distraction.

  7. The torrential rain is decimating the vegetables, the broad beans look as though they have been 15 rounds with Mike Tyson.
    More to come this afternoon…
    Now for Ray-T…

  8. I’ve been doing these dt crosswords and others for a few years now but only recently discovered this wonderful site with all these comments from what must be some of the nicest people all over the world . One thing still completely puzzles me though ? How do you all seem to know the name of the compiler . Where does it tell you who has created each puzzle ? JLO

    1. Can we call you J-Lo? :wink:

      Welcome to this wonderful and addictive blog. If you check the FAQ at the top of the site you will find the details of who the setter is each day. Ray T sets every second Thursday, but his style is very distinctive: all short clues (8 words or less), some innuendo, a mention of the Queen, and for the quickie he only ever uses single word clues.

      Now you’ve de-lurked, keep on commenting!

      1. Thanks yes call me JLO or whatever . But that still doesn’t make it clearer . How do the people who put the site up find out the name of the setter ? Is there a rota with names on or is it on a dt site or is it just educated guessing ? How many setters are there ? and what happens when they take a break how do you still seem to know the setter ? It’s still more of a mystery to me than even some of the obscure clues . JLO

        1. JLO, I don’t think I can explain it any better than Big Dave has done in his FAQ no. 28.

          On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays it seems to be the same setter for the “back-pager” every week. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays there are different setters. This knowledge, coupled with familiarity with the various setters’ distinctive styles, allows the bloggers to make an educated guess who the setter is. If not sure, then on this site we have adopted the convention of referring to him/her as Mysteron, which has metamorphosed into Mr. Ron.

          I hope that helps.

        2. Welcome to the blog, Jonathan,

          Some of your questions (such as the number of setters) are addressed in the FAQ. There is no published rota. The list is largely a combination or sleuthing, informal contacts and educated guessing.

          The Monday, Wednesday, and Friday puzzles have been set for some time now by Rufus, Jay and Giovanni respectively. RayT generally does every second Thursday, although occasionally there may be a perturbation in the Thursday schedule. There is also often a rearrangement of assignments in the week leading up to Christmas.

          Some of the setters leave a comment when their puzzle appears. For instance, it would be highly unusual if RayT were not to drop in later today. Some setters have Facebook pages where they may note the appearance of one of their puzzles. Many of the setters attend the Sloggers and Betters (Bloggers and Setters) or other social get-togethers within the cruciverbalist community.

      1. Thanks for all your help and answers . I suppose the slight mystery of it all is in keeping with the idea of cryptic crossword solving JLO

  9. This is the first time I have ever completed a crossword without recourse to the hints when Rabbit Dave and Kitty have used the word ‘harder’ in their comments.
    A day I shall remember whatever the outcome of the referendum!

    1. Congratulations Mycall. May today be the first of many such successes for you.

  10. Think I had a good day looking at the ratings, as it was a **/**** for me-must be Brexit fever- vote cast already. Warm and sunny in Tarporley, contemplating a barbeque and various libations.
    Did enjoy Mr T’s offering, 7D reminded me of my student days and Mr Asimov.

  11. I found bits of this a struggle and had to tease out quite a few answers, although for once the lurkers jumped out at me!

    I thought I finished this this morning but on reading the blog spotted I hadn’t put an answer in for 22d, which turned out to be my favourite clue! Lots of other likes though inc 16a, 26a and 8d.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Falcon for a super blog.

    Beautiful sunshine again on the moors and I am stuck inside. No riding and no cheeky trips to the pub (avoiding till the football is over).

      1. I know that might make other people sad but that is brilliant news. Friday night sorted with probably only minimal football chat that at the moment seems to consist of, “What about Iceland eh?” :yes:

        1. I shall trawl back through the highlights on catchup until Saturday.
          Fancy England getting the mighty Iceland, my Scottish mate is convinced it is a fix!!

    1. No riding until the football is over? Football is never over, it just drags on and on.

      1. Riding is dependent on other things (not football). But as far as I can tell, yes, football is never ending. I have tried to like it, but no.

  12. Given the day we’ve had it is a wonder I can actually remember how to do a cryptic crossword never mind solve this one in a fairly reasonable time while on the phone to EasyJet.

    We set off at 4 am giving us ample time and more to get to Stansted for me to check in etc. What we didn’t allow for was the worst torrential rain I’ve ever seen, spray from other vehicles, enormous floods, traffic accidents, diversions and the like which meant that when we eventually staggered into the airport the plane hadn’t just gone without me , it was probably on its way back from Belfast. So I’ve had to post the birthday present, try and explain to a nearly 3 year old that Granny will try and come again in a couple of weeks and generally deal with disappointment all round. The good news is that EJ have refunded the cost of the cancelled flight back on Monday A :rose: for them.

    As for the puzzle, I did enjoy it so thanks I presume to Mr T, and Falcon too.

    1. Bad luck, CS, not just for your three-year-old but you as well. You must have really been looking forward to that. I did read in the DT today about the floods in UK, and it looks like Glastonbury, always wet, is under water.

  13. Finished but with a great deal of electronic help and two hints. Back to the usual tedious slog that is a Ray T crossword.
    Thx for the hints

  14. I too am not a fan of RayT crosswords but I found this relatively easy whereas I usually struggle and end up wishing I had read the paper instead. What a difference a day makes.

  15. Solved at a very slow pace due to inconsiderate voters coming into my polling station and asking for a ballot paper. Another winner form Ray T. Just what I needed. Roll on 10.00pm

  16. Good afternoon everybody.

    It’s always satisfying to complete one of Mr T’s puzzles even if this may have been one of his gentler offerings and 13a required taking a complete flier. Didn’t take too long either so a ***/**** for me.

  17. Alas, my last success has not been repeated. I missed three answers in the end, and while that might not be 100% solve, it’s pretty good for me.
    I solved 1a on first read and felt encouraged, but I did need extensive help from my gizmo in the end.
    Tips equals crown, peeps? Puhleese.
    Thanks to RayT and to Falcon for revealing the missing answers.

    Now they’re trying to shoot people in Germany? Give us a break, where is all this going to take us.

        1. Me too! It is the only way I know…watermelon knocking is absolutely essential. Really fancy some now.

  18. Did not find this puzzle easy – the bottom half went in much more easily than the top. Did not finish it straight away and had to go back to it with “come on woman, concentrate on this, what is happening to you ” Perseverance paid off and my last one in was 11a once I realised that it was an anagram of sat in bow and a, not c, silly really but there you are. I would agree with a 3* difficulty as obviously was not on the same length as the setter. Guessed 13a but needed the blog to parse it! 22d was my favourite clue. Many thanks to Ray T and to Falcon for explaining the parsing of a few of my answers. Car loaded, we are leaving tomorrow morning early to make our journey back to Sussex. First very hot day in Hyėres…

    1. I’m afraid we currently have rather miserable weather in West Sussex, Framboise. After torrential rain and violent thunderstorms overnight we now have yet more rain but that has at least reduced the humidity. Forecast for the week-end is somewhat mixed. It must be nearly time for Wimbledon!

      1. Wimbledon starts on Monday! I am worried it’s going to be a washout, I look forward to W all year!

        1. Fear not, Merusa, next week looks to be much drier and of course Centre Court has a roof now too!

  19. ****/***. Pretty tough today and a number of archaic or obscure words as answers (11a for example and 12a in this context). The rest was very enjoyable so thanks to the setter and Falcon for the hints. We have heavy rain today so a short walk for the dogs and comfort food for dinner.

  20. Others may have found this “gentle” but I’m afraid it wasn’t gentle enough for me to finish without a helping-hand in the NW from Falcon who was there at our crack of dawn – for which TVM. Thanks also Jay for a fair, if rather serious, puzzle. ***/**.

  21. I found this easier than some Ray T’s but still quite demanding and I needed a couple of the hints for parsing. 2.5/3 for me today. And I would never have got the quickie pun.
    Thanks to Ray T and Falcon.

  22. I’m usually on RayT’s wavelength and today was no exception (however, I struggle with his alter-ego Beam). Plenty of fine clues and a most enjoyable solve to boot.

    Thanks to Falcon and RayT **/****

  23. A proper Thursday puzzle, so I had no chance ****/** 😰 Thanks to the Falcon for the hints and to Ray T (does the “T” stand for tortuous?) 😏 Thought 26a was clue of the week, but I needed the hint! also liked 7d 😊

  24. I agree with Falcon’s ratings. I also agree with him that the innuendo has been toned down.
    For the first time ever, probably, I got the two lurkers before they had a chance to get me.
    If we hadn’t had 22d quite recently I wouldn’t have got it – at least the memory seems to be working – thought it might have gone rusty after all the rain.
    Not very many anagrams – I made it four and a bit.
    I also had trouble trying to make fitting = agreement in 12a but it had to be what it was – still don’t really get it.
    I liked 1 and 13a and 2 and 9d.
    With thanks to Ray T – hope that things in Paris aren’t quite as ghastly as my French brother-in-law says they are – he does like to tell a good story so has been known to exaggerate a bit. Thanks also to Falcon.

  25. A bit late today as we have been outside enjoying the glorious weather here in the Marches, and the tablet has reflective glass making it difficult to use. I know that sentence will probably make those in the SE corner of the country who have had heavy rain seethe, but it’s normally us getting soaked, so no apologies.

    This was a good workout from Ray T and worthy of a 3*/4* rating. Plenty of head scratching and probably the hardest back-pager of the week thus far. 26 across the pick of several great clues.

    Thanks Ray and Falcon for the blog.

  26. Found this very tricky.
    A wide range of clues, some easy to solve, and some very tricky and needed explanation from Falcon.
    Thanks to Ray-T and to Falcon for the much needed hints.

  27. This proved quite a struggle, with the right-hand side putting up significantly more resistance than the left. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable struggle and a pleasant distraction from the weather/Referendum! Parts of my garden are under water for the second time in under two weeks, I’ve never known it this wet in late June before.

    My favourite clues were 1a, 18a and the, dare I say, autobiographical 22d.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Falcon.

    1. I was supposed to have been playing cricket today. I’m thinking of taking up water polo.

      1. It seems you’ve lost more days to the weather than you’ve actually played, RD, very bad luck.

        At this stage, next week looks a lot more settled and drier thankfully.

        1. I’ll be at the Oval on Wednesday for the ODI. It would be nice if: (a) it doesn’t rain; and (b) it is as exciting as game earlier this week.

  28. It all went together smoothly but not too quickly for us. Lots to enjoy as we always find with puzzles from this setter.
    Clue word count checked and all in order once again.
    Thanks RayT and Falcon.

  29. Too tough for me today. What with this awful weather I just wish I was at 10a drinking 15d watching the world (and 5d) go by!
    Nice work Falcon.

  30. This as far as I am concerned was more like a back pager! It needed the grey cells to come out of hibernation although for a Ray T it was a little kinder than his usual fare.
    21d was favourite and 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to Ray T, and to Falcon for the review.

  31. Evening all. Many thanks to Falcon for the review and to all for your comments. As interesting and varied as ever!


    1. Thanks for dropping in, Ray. Great puzzle as ever, and it’s always a pleasure to hear from you.

    2. Splendid stuff so thanks Ray Hopefully it will be you in two weeks time when it will be me in the chair. Looking forward to the tussle.

  32. Note to self: if the weather causes you to judge that the walk in would get you so hot and wet and muddy that it would be sensible to take the train, it would also be sensible to check that the trains are running before walking to the station which lies a mile in the other direction.

    Still, could be worse. I don’t envy poor Crypticsue.

    Now, since all the fun earlier prevented it, it’s time for me to actually go cast that vote. I think I’ll walk. :)

  33. A little difficulty in the SW corner this evening, that was resolved by simply ignoring it and doing something else for five minutes, at which point all fell into place. ** maybe *** for difficulty then. I’m not sure if RayT’s trying to say something, but we have SPLIT / AGREEMENT and ESTABLISHMENT / PROLETARIAT in the grid today.

  34. Many thanks to RayT for my fortnightly dose of the master’s work. I think he had his easy hat on today as the hidden words were in the right direction for a change. The best was 26 followed by 21. More anagrams than usual and less innuendo – what is happening?. Maybe he’s been ticked of by the chap who keeps apologising for mistakes. I can’t think what else he does!

  35. Yes, a bit stiffer than the usual back-page fodder. Almost into 3* difficulty, and 3* enjoyment. 15d would have been my favourite – any excuse to pop a cork – but I think 18a deserves it more. Thanks to Ray T and Falcon.

  36. Yipee, I actually managed to finish crossword before coming to blog (I will not mention the ginormous amount of electronic help needed) but at least I did not resort to tissues. Thanks to Ray T, great you always pop in and Falcon for explaining some of my wilder guesses.

  37. I hope that RayT won’t be reconduit à la frontière after tonight’s results.
    He would be dearly missed and might lose his je ne sais quoi once he lands back on the British soil.
    Thanks again for a great crossword.
    Thanks to falcon for the review.

  38. I found the quickie pun more difficult to work out than the puzzle, which was fairly straightforward. Thank you Falcon and RayT. My only query would be why 26a ‘went west?’

    1. I could easily be completely wrong but I interpreted ‘going west’ here as when something goes seriously wrong rather than anything to do with direction.

      1. Thanks for your help Kath. I thought that if something went west, it went across the pond, ie US, USA, Am etc. The end of the clue might then end in usus. Maybe I was overthinking it.

    2. Kath is on the right track, although the situation may be even more dire than she lets on.

      According to Oxford Dictionaries, “go west” is an informal British expression meaning to be killed or lost; or, as Kath says, merely meet with disaster.

      That is what happened to Narcissus, he died and became a flower.

      The surface reading alludes to 19th century American newspaper editor Horace Greeley advising young men to seek success in the developing American West with the exhortation “Go West, young man”.

  39. Thanks to Ray T and to Falcon for the review and hints. I’m normally on Ray T’s wavelength, but not today. Had to look up 10&12a and 5d. Got 20a&21d from the hints, the latter was one of my Dad’s favourite expressions, so I should have got it. Favourite was 7d. Was 4*/4* for me. Very tricky but very enjoyable.

  40. Not quite as difficult as the norm from the master, but still excellent by general back-page standards. 2.5*/4*

  41. Ray and I seldom see eye to eye and this was no different. I began on Friday morning and finished on Friday night (there was a full day’s work in between). Managed without hints, but needed help to parse a couple, so ta to Falcon and to Monsieur T. 4*/3*

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