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DT 28153

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28153

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Since we wrote our last blog, news from your side of the world has dominated the media here. The football: our support is naturally with England where so many of our friends and connections are. However, as we also come from a small country, we understand completely the ‘David and Goliath’ euphoria that the Icelandic fans must be feeling at the moment and feel pleased for them.

Jay is satisfactorily challenging and fun as usual.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Mole or distressed taupe — boys thinking originally (6,4)
BEAUTY SPOT : An anagram (distressed) of TAUPE BOYS with the first letter of thinking.

6a     Saw new job at last for cleaner in theatre (4)
SWAB : The last letter of job follows an anagram (new) of SAW.

10a     Country cousin diary’s revealed (5)
INDIA : This country is hiding within the two central words of the clue.

11a     Claims principal volunteers will meet in south (9)
MAINTAINS : A word meaning principal, the volunteer soldier organisation, ‘in ‘ from the clue and the abbreviation for south.

12a     Emphasises drama with drink (5,2)
PLAYS UP : A word for a drama or stage production and a three letter word meaning to drink.

13a     Brood on source of genuine sparkle (7)
GLITTER : A brood or collection of animal offspring follows the first letter of genuine.

14a     Dirty trousers found here (5,3,4)
BELOW THE BELT : Double definition. The second is literally where the greatest proportion of a pair of trousers is located.

18a     Excitement must follow for each, maybe (12)
PERADVENTURE : A three letter word meaning ‘for each’ comes before a word for an exciting activity.

21a     Plants trees on a line (7)
ALPINES : ‘A’ from the clue and the abbreviation for line precede coniferous trees.

23a     Retired thespian — one who makes demands (7)
EXACTOR : A two letter prefix meaning retired or used to be and a synonym for a thespian.

24a     Country vicar undressed by person sharing lead role (5,4)
COSTA RICA : The three letters in the centre of vicar follow someone sharing the lead in a play or film.

25a     Suggest almost always accepting fine (5)
EVOKE : Fine or ‘all correct’ is inside a word meaning always when its last letter has been removed.

26s     Issue turning around hospital grub (4)
NOSH : A male offspring is reversed and then the abbreviation for hospital.

27a     Evaluation of fools dispatched to capture capital of Malta (10)
ASSESSMENT : The animals used to typify fools and then the first letter of Malta is inside a word meaning dispatched.


1d     Balloons that will have minor problems carrying mass? (6)
BLIMPS : The abbreviation for mass is inside a word for minor problems.

2d     Early drink for actors in this? (2-4)
AM-DRAM : We are looking for a type of repertory theatre. The two letter abbreviation for in the morning (early) and a drink which is often a small quantity of whisky.

3d     Spiritual tenant lends car out (14)

4d     Way of communicating plan, surrounded by heroes in trouble (9)
SEMAPHORE : An anagram (in trouble) of HEROES includes a word for a plan or diagram.

5d     Outstanding — nothing on flank (5)
OWING : Nothing is the letter denoting zero, and the flank is a side or pinion.

7d     Calls that may follow wolf? (8)
WHISTLES : Cryptic definition.

8d     Level of interest when in lecture (4,4)
BASE RATE : A two letter word meaning ‘when’ is inside one meaning to lecture or hector.

9d     Scabs coming as result of blow-waves? (6-8)
STRIKE-BREAKERS : The first word is a blow or a hit and the waves are the type you find on a surf beach.

15d     Start of novel call supporting championship (5,4)
TITLE PAGE : The call could be what one might receive in a hotel lobby and comes after the honorific given to a champion.

16d     Plead during hospital investigation for aerosol (5,3)
SPRAY CAN : The type of hospital investigation using ultrasound, X-ray or other means, surrounds a word meaning plead or beg.

17d     Offers favouring models (8)
PROPOSES : A three letter word meaning in favour of and one meaning acts as a model.

19d     Tried hard, putting recipe in cooker (6)
STROVE : The abbreviation for recipe is inside a domestic cooker.

20d     Stop a car and set off (6)
ARREST : ‘A’ from the clue, a luxury car and an anagram (off) of SET.

22d     Fleeces family on board (5)
SKINS : The abbreviation for steamship surrounds a collective noun for relatives.

We’re going to go with 1a for favourite again this week as we tried two other types of mole before we lighted on the right one.

Quickie pun   read    +    joist    =    rejoiced

63 comments on “DT 28153

  1. 9 down my favourite in this very enjoyable Jay puzzle. A pleasant mix of clues, all beautifully constructed. 2*/4* from me with many thanks to Jay for cheering me up on this miserably wet Wednesday morning. Thanks, too, to the 2Ks.

  2. Another fine puzzle from Jay with excellent cluing throughout.

    Thanks to the 2Kiwis and Jay 1.5*/4*

  3. Think I must have fallen into every trap Jay set this morning, but my goodness I enjoyed the puzzle. So many penny-drop moments and plenty of laughing out loud.
    Top three places go to 1&14a plus 9d but I could easily have chosen so many others.

    Many thanks, Jay, that was great fun – and thanks to our 2Ks for the usual high standard review.

  4. 2*/4*. This was a delight from start to finish with brief but smooth cluing throughout spiced up with some nice humour.

    18a is a word one rarely encounters and what a mouthful it is!

    Lots of competition for favourite today but the hilarious 14a takes the honours.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. Well at least you’ve managed to see a bit of cricket in defiance of the forecast, I hope you are wrapped up well!

  5. I agree with the 2K’s ratings for difficulty and enjoyment.
    I started off thinking this was going to be a tricky one – should have gone with CS’s theory of beginning with the down clues as I got far more of those on first read through.
    I thought of all the umpteen meanings of mole before I got to the right one and needed lots of checking letters before I got that far – in our garden the most obvious kind is the digging beastie.
    I don’t think I knew 18a – that was my last answer and I was slow with 20d.
    I liked 14 and 24a and 9d. My favourite was 7d.
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s.
    It’s another cold – 14C – and rainy morning in Oxford. When are the weather chaps going to stop telling us that there’s going to be ‘plenty’ of rain? Am I the only one who thinks that ‘plenty’ implies something that we want or need rather than just lots of it. Rant over for now.

    1. I am waiting for Mr and Mrs Mole ( and their son Adrian) to decide to visit the allotment and hoping that this year their stroll proceeds in a straight line rather than a diagonal one like last year 😩

      1. Our cat Itchy brought us a mole at 4.15am recently. He deposited it on the bed for us to admire.

        1. Thank goodness we don’t have moles, but my ginger youngsters bring me lizards, alive. They took a Cuban anole into my shower the other day, thankfully very dead.

  6. 2*/4* from me today. What a wonderful start to the day, among the doom, gloom, weather and political turmoil which surrounds us at present. It can only get better!

    A great puzzle and review – thanks.

    Was also cheered up by the Letters page, where a contributor suggested that our English footballers voted for Out on Monday, with their feet. Priceless!

    1. I had to look him up because I didn’t think I knew who he was – but I guess I do! RIP

      1. He made playing look ever so simple, which it certainly is not .
        An inspiration to many, The late Paul Kossoff reminded me of his style, why play three notes when one will do.

  7. Altogether delightful – slight hold up half way through but then all came in a rush after getting one of my two contenders for favourite – 9d.

    The other contender was 4d. Lovely surface.

    Thx to Jay and our Kiwi cousins.

  8. Laughed at the dirty trousers (14a) and the country vicar (24a)
    had to check 2d and 18a in brb
    Thought 8d (level of interest when in lecture) and 20d (stop a car and set off) were nicely done

    Many thanks Jay and 2Kiwis

  9. Learned a new meaning for scab in 9d but BRB referred to blackleg so got the gist.
    20d (stop a car) was lovely but as taupe is mole in French, favourite is 1a.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

  10. The usual Wednesday treat. I spent rather a long time on the last few. Took an age to recall 18a and then had to look it up to verify its precise meaning. Also completely failed to get the second word of 15d without help because I was looking for the whole to be a championship, totally fooled by the first word on its own being at the start of a novel. Grr!

    I liked that there were two clues involving drunken thespians (2d and 12a) – maybe that was why one of them was undressing that vicar in 24a. Such behaviour could have led to the wonderfully brief and smooth 20d. Perhaps things went a bit 14a, which is my favourite because it made me chuckle.

    Many thanks to Garrulus glandarius and 2x Apteryx australis.

    P.S. I think Toughies may have to wait a day or three. Stupid rest of life impinging on my crossword time!

  11. The usual excellent stuff from Jay. So many excellent clues and all solvable from the wordplay.Thanks to whomsoever it is that Kitty has thanked and thanks also to Jay and The 2Ks.

  12. Happily, I had no trouble with this, even 2D with which I’m not familiar, just a bit of a delay in working out 18, my last one in. 24A and 9D are my favorites. Thanks Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  13. Very enjoyable, Jay and I must have the same twisted minds as I slot straight into his puzzles, especially after a struggle on Monday.
    Lots of excellent clues, 24a is the best clue I have seen for a while, 7d was very good too and last in…
    18a was a new word for me, but once I had all the checkers and the ‘PER’ at the start, was ok.
    Many thanks 2xK’s for the hints and to Jay for another cracking puzzle…

  14. Good afternoon everybody

    After missing Monday’s puzzle and struggling mightily with yesterday’s it was pleasant to have this fine back pager. A few tricky clues towards the end for sure but mostly a very fair contest.

    Favourites were 8d, 18a and last but one in 7d.


  15. Some excellent and amusing clues, but I’m still unconvinced by the surface reading of 1a, I feel Mr. Mutch was trying to be a little too clever with that one.

    I did like 9d, although not for the image it conjured up, but my overall favourite was 8d.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  16. Another charmer from Jay. I never did get 2d, but I thought of that and said “can’t be” and left it blank. Moral: it doesn’t matter if you’ve not heard of it, just google.
    I got 18a by doing exactly what the clue told me to do, but that’s a pretty archaic word.
    My Fave was the funny 14a, runner up was 24a.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis for the hints.

  17. Lovely puzzle today, with a nice humorous touch. 18a was the cause of a bit of head-scratching, otherwise everything flowed very enjoyably. Favourite clues 14a and 24a. Thank you 2Ks and Jay.

  18. I found this much easier than yesterday. I liked 14a and 9d. Thank you Jay and the 2Ks.

  19. Cunningly contrived clues confounded me today – ah, I do love apt alliteration’s artful aid .
    Took ages getting 1a, as I was fixated on spies or the spade-work of Alexander the Great. Never heard of 1 and 2 d so had a disappointing top l. h. corner .Stupidly, I failed to get 21a, too ; couldn’t get “aspens” out of my head…oh dear.
    ***/*** Wimbledon distracting me – well, that’s my excuse but thanks, Kiwis.

  20. After being on holiday for the last 17 days I thought I’d struggle with crosswords again but I managed to complete this delightful offering from Jay. So many good clues I can’t pick out a favourite. Predictably high grade from Jay unlike the surprises in the football (Iceland for goodness sake!) and Brexit. Glad I got my Canadian and US dollars before the referendum.

    1. We got back on Monday, also after 17 days vacation! Glad we didn’t get all our pounds at the start of the trip. Was also fun being in the pub in the evenings and joining in the lively pre Brexit discussions.

        1. Thank you. It’s always good to get home again. Had to board our cat this year (had a pet sitter visit last 15 years) and spent a lot of time worrying about him – little stinker loved being boarded and thrived! Worried for nothing. Think he liked the constant company and fussing. Hard to get used to the humidity after over two weeks of highs in the 60s…wonderful.

          1. Don’t you get cross when you fret and miss them, only to find that they had a better time away? My Sadie (dog) took ages to forgive me for being absent, but thank goodness she has accepted me back again. I love the heat and humidity, Miami summers are wonderful!

  21. ***/*** for me. A little trickier than I expected as I started quickly but slowed rapidly. My favourites were 14&23a. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks for the review. I saw a typical Sun headline re Brexit – see EU later. Amusing if it hadn’t cost me so much.

  22. Usually rate one less than the 2K’s for some reason and made my usual note on my paper before reading the blog-sure enough it was a **/****.
    Cracking clues Gromit !
    Liked 24a, very neat and concise, as was the puzzle in general
    1a produced the D’oh moment as I was looking for a spy-thanks setter and the 2 K’s.

  23. A very enjoyable way to spend a disgustingly dreary day in Shropshire. Lots to like and very little, if anything, to gripe about. I will go with the nude vicar at 24a as my favourite. The clue that is, not an undressed clergyman :whistle:

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

  24. Willis peradventure is no match for Roger, but he sure as hell is giving us some colourful tennis. I’m loving it!

    1. Yes – will keep my further comment until you’ve seen the end of it – would hate to spoil it for you. :smile:

      1. I saw it to the end. I can’t remember seeing anyone enjoy their match as much as he did, even though he did lose. I hope he keeps at it, that was a load of fun.

      2. A real character and a comic, I thought. I suppose he had absolutely nothing to lose. I did feel a bit sorry for Roger who must be so used to being the guy everyone is cheering at every available opportunity.

  25. Really witty and clever crossword today I thought. Had to consult the hints again at the three quarters or so stage but then continued on my own with a little help from son number two who happened to be around with 4d and 25a.
    Chuckled on 2a, 16d and was trying to add an o to the end with 4d, had even thought of wing for flank…doh! Why oh why did I not think harder about “scab”? I knew the meaning.
    Great fun and thanks to Jay and the 2 kiwis.

  26. Agree with virtually everybody here, a fine crossword from Jay. 24a was fave, just ahead of 14a. 3/3* overall on yet another very grey day. I really shouldn’t have bought that new parasol a few weeks ago, as the sun has been absent ever since it seems.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2K’s.

  27. Always enjoy the Wednesday puzzle. **/**** for me. Even managed to do it with the grand children around, albeit later than usual. Ta for explanation of 8d. 18a was a new word for me. Favouite clues 14a and 2d. Thanks all.

  28. My heart sank rather when I saw the *** but I found this such a lovely puzzle with so many good and varied clues I can’t choose. I got stuck on 5d, went away and came back when it was so obvious so will say 1.5*/****.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  29. This took me just into 2* territory, but raised a few smiles in the process. I think my favourite has to be 2d – a source of many fond memories (not least playing Colonel Desmond Sparrow in Ustinov’s “The Love of Four Colonels” at RNAS Yeovilton many years ago). Oh, the smell of the crowd, the roar of the greasepaint…

    PS: thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  30. Thanks 2 kiwis. I found this a three star difficulty too. And yet looking at it now am not sure why – it all seems so clear – good clues ( but tricky….) 18a was good for me and 15a too. For me it’s been two harder crosswords in a row so good to see your rating this time.

  31. This was the first time we had started a back pager before 6.30am and before getting up. Maybe the outcome is a lesson for us – we sailed through it – although I can’t foresee furthe early trials to prove or disprove a linkage between early starts and good results. 1.5*/3*.

    We enjoyed most clues but 2d & 16d deserve special mention.

    Thanks to the two shoe polish brands and something that comes between Kay and I.

  32. Liked 1a ,14a and best of all 8d but could have selected several others from Jay’s superb puzzle . Challenging in parts ; struggled with 18a, even though I had worked out the first part of the clue , and needed the hint for 25a . ***/**** Thanks to the 2Kiwis and Jay

  33. Seem to be at odds with most of you today – * difficulty for me today, obviously on Jay’s wavelength. Did not like 2d or 15d (last one in) but enjoyed 5d and 9d enormously. Thanks to Jay for an enjoyable if rather quick puzzle and to the 2Ks for the review.

  34. Busy day so pleased to romp through this. The Colonel’s balloons in 1d and the 2d abbreviation new to me but both had to be. Fav giggle was 14a. Thanks Jay and the 2Ks. **/***.

  35. Another good Wednesday puzzle, that would have been about */** for difficulty, if it wasn’t for 15d and 18ac that pushed it into *** territory for me. Always pleasing to get a word you didn’t know before from the wordplay alone.

  36. Good morning all. On reading the comments above it looks like your mid-summer weather at the moment is pretty much like our mid-winter weather. Plenty of rain but our temperatures seem to be a few degrees warmer than yours. Forecasters tell us some southerly conditions (south = cold for us) are about to arrive which should cheer up the country’s ski field operators if not the rest of us.
    Keep smiling everyone. :bye:

  37. Was relieved to see the *** difficulty rating as I struggled for a while, but with the Kiwis help everything came together. But never heard of 18a before. Always enjoy Jay days. Just got back on Monday night from 17 days in West Sussex and Surrey, and worked on the puzzle on days we managed to pick up a DT, which was sold out some days in the village where we rented a cottage. Internet connection dropped off around 8pm every evening, more annoying than the inclement weather. Actually the cool, mostly cloudy and sometimes rainy weather was a welcome respite from steamy South Florida.

  38. This was very good, with average difficulty and some excellent cluing. Why is 1a a mole on a bloke’s face but a beauty spot on a woman’s? It’s just not fair! 2.5*/3.5*

  39. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very nice puzzle from Jay as usual. Just needed the hints for 2d, hadn’t heard of that particular abbreviation, and to parse the 2nd word of 15d. Favourite was 14a, mainly because it took so long for the penny to drop. Was 2*/3* for me.

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