DT 28159 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28159

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28159

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.
It is official Maori Language Week here in Aotearoa New Zealand so we thought it appropriate to once again greet you with a full formal greeting.
Enjoy today’s Jay puzzle.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Issue a fine in accordance with the rules (6)
AFFAIR : ‘A’ from the clue then the abbreviation for fine and a word meaning in accordance with the rules or equitable.

5a     Dish astronauts prepared as going away (3,5)
NUT ROAST : An anagram (prepared) of asTRONAUTS after the ‘as’ has been removed.

9a     Kent area is surrounded by secret viewers like this? (5-3)
CLOSE-SET : ‘Viewers like this’ is how eyes might be. The geographical area of the UK where Kent is found (or the bottom right if you prefer) is inside a word meaning secret or not revealed.

10a     Bell made by Britain wearing well in Paris (3,3)
BIG BEN : A French word meaning well or good includes the two letter designation for Great Britain.

11a     Pine for our island state (8)
MISSOURI : Pine or note the lack of, then ‘our’ from the clue and the abbreviation for island.

12a     Darned two down’s first (6)
DEUCED : Darned here is a mild expletive. A word meaning two, (or forty-forty in tennis) and then the first letter of down.

13a     Derivative film by two females on love (8)
OFFSHOOT : A verb meaning to film or take a picture follows the letter for love as a tennis score and a repeated abbreviation for female.

15a     Animal‘s stomach or shoulder? (4)
BEAR : Triple definition. We’ll let the picture speak for the first definition.

17a     Identity of most of tissue returned (4)
SELF : A word meaning tissue or the meaty part of a body loses its last letter and what is left is reversed.

19a     Aware opinion lacks dynamism, ultimately (8)
SENTIENT : A word for an opinion or a feeling has an ‘m’ (the last letter of dynamism) removed from inside it.

20a     A love that’s burning (6)
AFLAME : ‘A’ from the clue and a girl or boyfriend, especially an old one.

21a     Lumpy hooter’s terribly loud inside (8)
NODULOSE : The facial organ known as a hooter surrounds an anagram (terribly) of LOUD.

22a     Horse’s one of five in eastern Spain (6)
EQUINE : A word for one of a set of five children is inside the abbreviation for eastern and the IVR code for Spain.

23a    Thought of maiden bowled over American serviceman (8)
IMAGINED : An anagram (bowled) of MAIDEN includes the two letters denoting an American serviceman.

24a     Doing relief work‘s charming (8)
SPELLING : Double definition. The second is what Hermione Granger might be doing.

25a     Sally, disheartened, shows agreement in church councils (6)
SYNODS : The first and last letters of Sally and then the head movements used to show agreement.


2d     All too human tale covering the rise of trouble (8)
FALLIBLE : The sort of tale we associate with Aesop surrounds the reversal of a word meaning trouble or unwell.

3d     Fools almost hurting valuer (8)
ASSESSOR : The animals used to typify fools and then a word meaning hurting loses its last letter.

4d     Half refuse to change without a reorganisation … (9)
RESHUFFLE : An anagram (to change) of HaLF REFUSE after the ‘a’ has been removed.

5d     … in spite of having no status! (15)
NOTWITHSTANDING : Split the answer 3,4,8 to get a phrase meaning having no status.

6d     Clothes of independent workers kept by turncoat (7)
RAIMENT : The abbreviation for independent, and male workers are found inside a word for a turncoat or deserter.

7d     Fish or cobra cooked in beer (8)
ALBACORE : A synonym for beer surrounds an anagram (cooked) of COBRA.

8d     Player not on pitch — what’s the reason? (4-4)
TONE DEAF : A cryptic definition. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s about cricket or football.

14d     On grass, upset, gets into debt (9)
OVERDRAWS : A word meaning on or on top of and then the reversal of a poetic word for green turf.

15d     People rowing about large fish (8)
BLOATERS : The abbreviation for large is inside people in a vessel.

16d     Cheers a quiet student during interval (8)
APPLAUSE : The musical letter for quiet and the abbreviation for a student or learner are inside ‘a’ from the clue and a word meaning interval or interruption.

17d      Horse no one backed after delay (8)
STALLION : A word meaning delay or hesitate and then reverse ‘no’ from the clue and the Roman numeral one.

18d     Release objective for unfinished business (5,3)
LOOSE END : Release or let free and then objective or aim.

19d     Original tutorial group finally changing sides (7)
SEMINAL : Take a word meaning a tutorial group and change the last letter from right to left.

 When we had finished the rest of the puzzle, 12a was still showing white squares and needed extra head-scratching so deserves to be our favourite this week.

Quickie pun   sleep   +   hurry   =   slippery

70 comments on “DT 28159

  1. 2*/4*. The usual first rate crossword that we have come to expect on a Wednesday. 12a was my last one in. 5d was my favourite with 12a and 22a fighting it out for a close second.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. 10a – As you are the blog’s resident pedant I’m a little surprised you haven’t pointed out that “Britain” is merely the B part of GB. The clue doesn’t work for me.

      1. I am not convinced you are right there, pommers. Surprisingly “Britain” is not listed in my BRB. Collins On-Line says that Britain is an alternative name for both Great Britain and for the United Kingdom, even though, as all pedants well know, these two are not the same thing at all! I also looked at several other on-line dictionaries and all describe Britain as being synonymous with Great Britain. Wiktionary (which I wouldn’t necessarily treat as gospel) says, inter alia:
        1. The island of Great Britain, consisting of England, Scotland and Wales
        2. (loosely) The United Kingdom

  2. This went into 3* for difficulty for me because I just couldn’t get 12a and finally resorted to electronic help. Kept reading it as 2d’s first which gave me a very strange f which didn’t fit at all. But I think it was my favourite clue, 3* for enjoyment.
    Thanks to setter and 2Ks

  3. 3*/3* here. Also had 12a as the last one in, and also, we felt, the best clue.

    21a was a new word for us, but fairly obvious from the construction, whereas 24a was a new meaning of a familiar word.

    Really nice review, thank you, 2Ks. Lovely crossword, thank you, Jay.

  4. Another corker from Jay. I had to look up a couple of guesses for 7d before finding the right one. I also needed the checker which it provided to help me with 12a, my last in. A bit fishy today (in answers, not clueing, of course!) and also something of an equine flavour.

    24a I got only from the second definition. Not sure I’ve heard the term used for relief work.

    Thanks to Jay for another excellent puzzle and to the 2Kiwis for another excellent review. Nice pictures too. I’m hungry now.

    1. Took me a while to figure out it was along the lines of shift work — like spotting for another person — rather than the UN aid style of relief work!

      1. Welcome to the blog Matt.
        That is how we understood 24a too, substitution or filling in for someone.
        Looking at it now, perhaps we should have given a hint to that definition as well.

  5. On Wednesday MrB goes walking so I am on my own with the crossword. Really struggled with this one, not helped by stupidly putting an “n” where the first “t” should be in 5d. Really enjoyed the challenge. Thanks to the setter for a good brain workout.

  6. Difficult and a couple of new words – not a happy combination – thank heaven for my wordsearch program!

    7d and 21a were not in my vocabulary until this crossword, I wonder if I’ll ever use them again!


    1. It is said that when buying tuna, the 7d form is the most ecologically sound as the type of fishing is the least dangerous to other sea life. Look for it in the supermarket, you’ll be using it often then.

    2. You will use both 7d and 21a again if only in another crossword – they’ll probably come up again soon now that they’ve made an appearance after quite a long time.

  7. Very fishy and very enjoyable as usual. Took a bit longer than normal which always pleases me. Out for dinner at The Crabmill in Preston Bagot and home in time for some proper tennis. Life is good

  8. Straight in with a **/****, best so far this week, very logical cluing, which suits me.
    Enjoyed the 2K’s blog pics . Liked Hermione before she was famous !
    5d my favourite, what a ‘belter’ from Jay. Set me up for tonight’s little skirmish, think I’ll watch it at the local for the atmosphere-and real ale.

  9. Like Miffypops says, very fishy. I would definitely put this in the 3 star category of difficulty.I looked at many clues long and hard before the penny dropped.Such as 15a.
    Very enjoyable .
    Ngā mihi ki Kiwis and Jay and Google translate.

    1. Well done Una. At this rate you will be fluent in Te Reo in no time. Cheers.

  10. Very enjoyable – but had to peek at your answers in the end. But got most.

  11. As usual I agree with the 2K’s ratings for difficulty and enjoyment.
    Yet another Wednesday when starting with the down clues might have got me started more quickly – it’s not a race so who cares?
    Quite a few of these caused trouble mainly the 11a ‘island state’ which I made worse by splitting it 5,3! :roll:
    Like others I did a lot of head scratching over 12a and like Cat thought it had something to do with the clue for 2d.
    I missed the anagram indicator in 23a and did, immediately, think that 8d was football or cricket related.
    All good fun.
    I liked 10a and 5 and 8d. My favourite was 11a.
    With thanks to Jay for the crossword and thanks for the hints, pics and Maori greeting to the K’s.

  12. I am so glad the final rating was *** for difficulty, if it had been ** I would have retired to a dark corner. This one took me hours! It was at least a **** for me needing lots of electronic help and some I answers I still didn’t understand. Very very tricky.
    Much too difficult to be fun but satisfying to at last complete it.
    Thx to all
    PS Mrs B wants to know if there is a circle of hell reserved for setters who use part anagrams? Anagrams are her thing and she gets grumpy when you have to solve something to get the rest of one.

    1. I like anagrams, obviously not TOO many (I’m not shouting just stressing), I find it endlessly fascinating how many different variations there are. Eg. I think one of my favourites is carthorse and orchestra but there are lots.

      1. I like anagrams too – I think they’re a really good way in to a tricky crossword.
        I have it somewhere in my head that there is a maximum number that is approved of in a cryptic crossword but since I can’t remember what that is I’m really not much use.

        1. At one stage the Telegraph guidelines allowed a maximum of 6 anagrams per crossword.

          1. Thanks – I thought it was probably something like that. I think that there was a crossword recently that had ten but can’t remember which one – maybe I dreamt it up.

  13. 8d was my last one in and favourite for the penny drop moment.

    Also liked 4d

    Many thanks Jay and 2Kiwis

  14. Well a solution was obtained and quite enjoyable too, but with some electronic help and hintage.
    Had the wrong ending for 16d which did not help with 24a. 12a I don’t think I would ever have solved and got my r’s and l’s mixed up in 7d. New word for me.
    Didn’t try hard enough with 15d and seemed intent on having the people arguing rather than boating. But enjoyed trying out my Geordie accent when the answer did emerge…memories of “When the boat comes in”…thou shall have a fishy on a little dishy…and so on!
    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis for the fun today.

  15. Always the way. When you are pressed for time a really challenging puzzle confronts you. A bit like having teeth pulled (or prodded as happened to me yesterday) to start with, but I gradually warmed to the task. Needed 2Kiwis helpful hints with 12 and 21 across and gave up and looked up the answer to 7d as ran out of time.

  16. Not sure about some of the clueing 😏 e.g. 2d, 12a & 22a but all solved eventually 😬 ***\*** Loved 8d & 25a 😍 Big thank you to the 2xKs and J 😜

  17. I’ll go along with RD on this one. Rather like Virgilius on a Sunday, Jay never fails to come up with a brilliant, testing and enjoyable puzzle. So many fair and challenging clues, with great wordplay. 5 down also my favourite, and 2*/4* overall.

    Thanks to all our avian contributors.

  18. I made hard work of this – I didn’t know 7d or 12a and not heard of that word for relief work at 24a. Couldn’t fathom a reason for 22a. Somehow misspelt 2d too, and it all got a bit messy. ***/*** for me.

    Liked 11a, (once I’d eventually got it), 5d is an absolute corker (once I’d eventually got it!)

    Hoping Macawber will be kinder today, but I’m not holding out much hope!

    Thanks to all as ever

  19. I thought that Friday was the day for fish. 3d in today’s Times cryptic is “skipjack tuna”. Anyone spotted a yellowfin?

  20. A delightful diversion for a lovely sunny afternoon.

    Trickier than an average Jay puzzle I thought, not helped by the fact I had not previously encountered the fish in 7d or one of the two definitions in 24d.

    My favourite clue was 10a, I loved the use of “wearing well in Paris”.

    Many thanks to Mr. Mutch and our friends from the land of the long white cloud.

    1. We are impressed that you remembered the translation of the Maori name for our country.

  21. ***/****. A really enjoyable puzzle. Very fair clues and stretching answers in a number of cases. Really liked 12,19&21a.thanks to the setter and the 2Ks for the review.

  22. Good afternoon everybody.

    The good news today was that nobody else had dome the crossword, the bad news was that after an enjoyable tussle 7d and 12a eluded me. 21a was a new word to me and not one in common use round here. 14d I couldn’t understand why. 24a I thought was very doubtful. I find it hard to imagine that anybody has ever described relief work so.

    Would have been three star time but as I couldn’t finish I’ll have to say


  23. A most enjoyable puzzle to solve in the sunshine. A **/**** for us. A great warm-up for an afternoon of tennis. Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. What an afternoon of tennis it has been so far. I don’t know about the players but I’m played out after merely watching the Federer/Cilic match. Now let’s see what Tsonga and Murray produce.

  24. So unusual to see a triple def that it has become my favourite.
    Found it a bit harder than usual but enjoyed the tussle.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

  25. 21a&7d were new ones for me but managed to work them out from the wordplay before checking with the BRB.
    Last couple to fall were 9 & 12a and I’ll give the top spot to 9a, closely followed by 5d.

    Thanks to Jay and also to our 2Ks.

  26. Managed to complete this over breakfast so no interruption of tennis. Excellent fare but I do have to admit to a bit of googling. Favs 21a and 5d with several other close runners-up. ***/***. Thanks Jay and 2Ks whose greeting (whatever it says) is warmly reciprocated – cheers!

  27. Like a lot of others we solved this around the tennis. Andy doing OK but his bro seems to be making heavy weather of it – two five setters in a row. Roger the dodger done good though.

    Apart from 10a where “Britain” does not give GB this was the usual flawless entertainment form the Wednesday Wizard. We’ll go for **/****.

    We’ll go for 15a as fav because you don’t get that many triples (sounds like my performance at darts!).

    Thanks to Jay and the Kiwis.

    1. P. 10a: Just for the record, I agree with you – “Britian” = GB doesn’t really work. For me, it’s a partial or “indirect” abbreviation and therefore not quite right. But the clue parsing was still fairly easy/obvious, so no big deal I guess.

  28. Good morning everyone. Still a little time to go before sunrise here but it definitely will be a couple of minutes earlier than it was last week.
    Two fish, two horses and a bear. A pretty good score for animal life this week.
    Looks like most people enjoyed it as much as we did.

  29. I found this tricky, but with the help of gizmo, I finally solved 12a, my last outstanding.
    I had never heard of the 5a roast, must be a Brit thing.
    All very enjoyable, fave was 5d, runner up 8d.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2Kiwis, I always look forward to the NZ touches!

    Well, Murray certainly had me on the edge of my seat, but I do like Tsonga.

    1. Like you, Merusa, I too like Tsonga.
      This certainly was tricky, especially for a learner – needed a lot of gizmo help.
      Like Miffypops, life is good as we are spending this week in The Cotswolds – just beautiful, and the weather too.

  30. A little tricky in places, especially the NE corner. A surfeit of the dreaded double unches didn’t help matters. And keeping half an eye on the football probably didn’t either.

  31. That was a bit more tricky than usual for a Wednesday! Good challenge! Being a bit poor in the hearing department 8d has to be my favourite. Overall 3/3*.
    Thanks to Jay, and to the 2K’s for their review.

  32. Thanks for the hint for 12a which I needed. Good misdirecton there. Didn’t like the ‘s in 21a as it threw me until I decided to ignore it. Thanks all.

  33. Probably a **** for me, which is strange as I am usually quicker on Jay’s puzzles. Thank goodness for the hints by the Kiwis… 12a and 21a were hold ups, and I had overdraft for 14d but it worked anyway.

  34. Another wonderful puzzle from Jay. Not too many problems apart from 12a.

    Many thanks to jay and the 2Kiwis for you usual wonderful blog.

  35. Late to this today…
    24a – Sorry, for the hard of thinking…What has ‘relief work’ to do with the answer???

        1. Just to expand a little, Collins Online gives these definitions for spell. 1.(noun): a period or tour of duty after which one person or group relieves another. 2.(transitive verb): to take over from (a person) for an interval of time; relieve temporarily. I didn’t know these meanings either, which just goes to show how cryptic crosswords can improve your vocabulary.

          1. Many thanks Jose, as you say, crosswords are good for the vocabulary…

  36. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, what a wonderful puzzle. Was held up by both the fish, but got them in the end. 7d being a new word for me. Was completely beaten by 12a. Favourite was 21a, was 3*/5* for me. Late commenting due to attending the Ealing Beer Festival yesterday.

  37. Somewhat late to this after a lovely day at Lingfield Park yesterday.
    Yet another bad day with the crossword, my ability to find a synonym is on a par with my 5-year-old Granddaughter.
    Thanks to 2xNZ for doing the crossword for me and Jay for a good puzzle leading to yet another blank day.
    A quick glance at the Ray-T blog today reveals yet another blank day today, just hope I can get a few answers.

    1. Having gone through the hints (thanks 2xNZ) thank Heavens I threw the towel in early, miles over my head, this one!!
      19d – “changing sides” means change an “R” to a “L”!!!!
      Oh well, one day I may just twig constructs like that if I keep going!!

  38. Solved this morning – too tired last night – and enjoyed it immensely, as usual with Jay. Ta to him and the Ks. 8d is top of the pops. 2*/4*

  39. A little tricky, 21 across threw me and even when I saw the answer I couldn’t figure it out. A word I did not know.

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