DT 28171 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28171

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28171

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone. The 2Kiwis are busy this week so you’ll have to make do with me, I’m afraid. I thought this Jay crossword was quite difficult while I was doing it but looking at it again now I can’t quite see why – maybe my brain is just too hot to work properly. Please leave us a comment and let us know how you got on today.

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


1a            People who rejoice seeing tirades by B-lister? (10)
CELEBRANTS — A relatively well-known person or star (B-lister) is followed by some tirades or outbursts. I’ve spent quite a lot of time wondering if I’m missing a subtlety in this one but I am it’s too subtle for me – anyone? 

6a            Condition of being new in service (4)
ACNE — The one letter abbreviation for N(ew) is contained (in) in a kind of service that is seen at Wimbledon. The pictures for this one were so disgusting that I decided to spare you all!

9a            Praise sources of profit and loss before financial review (7)
PLAUDIT — A financial review or scrutiny is preceded by (before) the first letters (sources) of P(rofit) and L(oss).

10a         Take up the cause of European partner (7)
ESPOUSE — The abbreviation for European is followed by a partner or a husband or wife.

12a         Popular and match fit, beyond dispute (13)
INCONTESTABLE — Begin with the usual short word meaning popular, follow that with a match or tournament and finish it all off with a word meaning fit or sound.

14a         Risking missing end — irritating (8)
ANGERING — A word meaning risking or putting in jeopardy without its first letter (missing end). I spent a very long time trying to remove the last letter from something. Just a quick edit in case anyone is reading this for the first time. I’ve messed up – thanks to Kitty for pointing it out. I’m talking complete rubbish and how didn’t I see it? The word is, of course, one that means putting at risk. All you need to do is remove from it three letters from the clue – the third word. Apologies to all. 

15a         Design single duct to carry nitrogen (6)
INVENT — The letter that looks like a one in Roman numerals (single) and a duct or outlet are separated by (carrying) the chemical symbol for N(itrogen).

17a         Covering article in duplicate (6)
CANOPY — A duplicate or reproduction contains (in) the two letter indefinite article.

10 X 20 canopy_tent-2

19a         Stop on the way for a jumper (8)
PULLOVER — To come off a main road (way) for a brief time is also a jumper – this jumper is not a kangaroo or a flea, it’s a garment.


21a         Gatecrashers? (9,4)
BATTERING RAMS — Gatecrashers here are not unwanted guests at a party, they’re large beams used to force an entry.

24a         Gave up crossing river and crumpled (7)
CREASED — A word meaning gave up or stopped contains (crossing) the one letter abbreviation for R(iver).

25a         Running late, the marathon man perhaps? (7)
ATHLETE — An anagram (running) of LATE THE. Am I the only one to miss ‘running’ as the anagram indicator.


26a         Okay, call for help — ring! (2-2)
SO-SO — Not Okay as in agreement but more neither good nor bad – an urgent call for help is followed by the letter that is round, or looks like a ring.

27a         Ladder broken during party — nonsense (10)
BALDERDASH — An informal word for a party contains (during) an anagram (broken) of LADDER. I love clues/anwers like this and associate them more with Jay than any other setter.



1d            Excels in room mainly facing north (4)
CAPS — A room or area without its last letter (mainly) and reversed (facing north).

2d            Start to doubt being embraced by unusually genial principal (7)
LEADING — The first letter of D(oubt) (start to) is contained in (being embraced by) an anagram (unusually) of GENIAL.

3d            Books from Italy pinched by new copper’s bride (6-7)
BODICE RIPPERS — The IVR for I(taly) is contained in (pinched by) an anagram (new) of COPPER’S BRIDE.


4d            Upsetting taunting, finding the right pitch (8)
ATTUNING — . . . and hot on the heels of the last two clues comes a third anagram, upsetting, of TAUNTING. I’d just been thinking that there weren’t many anagrams today . . .

5d            Present given after the end of August as expression of sympathy (5)
THERE — Present or attending follows the last letter (end of) August.

7d            About to uncover deceit and fall apart (7)
CRUMBLE — The one letter Latin abbreviation meaning about is followed by a slang word meaning to uncover deceit or find out the truth.

8d            Sort of school for chemistry? (10)
ELEMENTARY — This adjective describing anything to do with chemistry is also a kind of school where young children are taught – it became obsolete in the UK a long time ago but is still current in North America. Did I know that? No, of course I didn’t but the BRB did!

11d         Obtain protection for design and flog such shiny stuff (6,7)
PATENT LEATHER — The first word is legal protection for someone who has invented something to stop anyone else pinching the idea and the second is a verb to flog – not sell but whip or thrash.


13d         Plan to reverse small vehicles (10)
HATCHBACKS — A word meaning to concoct a plan or scheme is followed by another one meaning to reverse or retreat and lastly the abbreviation for S(mall).


16d         Cyclist may have this defence against aspersions? (8)
MUDGUARD — A cyclist going through dirty or wet conditions needs this to stop his or her back getting splattered. It could also be said to be something to protect or defend against aspersions or slander.


18d         Poles must welcome complete idiots (7)
NUTTERS — These ‘poles’ are the ones at the top and bottom of the world – they contain (must welcome) another word for complete or total.

20d         Caver getting worried about one’s organs (7)
VISCERA — An anagram (getting worried) of CAVER which contains (about) the letter that looks like a one, with the ‘S.

22d         Country that’s after golf hotel? (5)
INDIA — All to do with the phonetic or NATO alphabet – Golf = G, Hotel = H . . .

23d         The compiler needs quiet for the grid (4)
MESH — How the setter might refer to himself is followed by a short interjection appealing for a bit of quiet or silence.

I really enjoyed this one and thought there were lots of good clues – 9 and 19a and 3 and 11d but my favourite has to be 27a.

The Quickie Pun:- PROFFER + TICKLE = PROPHETICAL This took me absolutely ages – I was wandering around muttering like a complete looney.

83 comments on “DT 28171

  1. First impression was one of foreboding but when I eventually got off the ground it turned out to be quite doable and very enjoyable. Liked 3d and 11d (avoiding Joint Favs as you know who is certainly around today!). Thanks Jay and indeed she who must be obeyed for the hints. ***/***.

  2. A couple of new words/ phrases learnt to day 3D 20D, I thought it might be a struggle today as the first read through only revealed two answers, but it’s amazing what a mug of tea can do to the old brain cells.Thanks to the setter & Kath for her review.

  3. A lot to like – I enjoyed 20d (country that after golf hotel), 16d (cyclist… this one actually helped me in today’s toughie!)
    and 8d (sort of school for chemistry), just to name a few

    I also liked 13d where I was looking for a reversal until more checkers appeared

    Many thanks Kath and Jay

  4. Really , Kath, when you blog , we are not “putting up” with anything.
    Lovely illustrations and explanations , especially 16d, where I couldn’t quite see the second meaning .
    8d was also my favourite.
    Very enjoyable, much thanks to both Jay and Kath.

  5. I’ve had a real nightmare this morning with my Internet connection. I can connect to some sites without a problem, other drop intermittently (including this one :cry: ) and I can’t some access some sites at all. I just saw on the news that BT Internet have had a major outage problem this morning which I suspect may be the reason, although, as a non-techie, I can’t understand how an outage could cause complete failure with some sites and not others.

    I agree with Kath’s 3*/4* for another in a long line of challenging and enjoyable Wednesday puzzles.
    My favourite was 22d closely followed by 21a.
    Many thanks to Jay and to the 1K standing in for the 2Ks.

  6. Thanks to Jay and to Kath for the review and hints. Couldn’t do this to save my life. Had ministrate for 13d. Missed two anagrams. Complete nightmare. Was 4*/3* for me. Needed to look up 7 answers.

    1. Well bully for you………..some of us obviously are not as clever as you.

      If you think it is too easy then don’t shout it from the rooftops.

      Just give yourself a clap on the back.

      1. Since no one else will say it, I will. That was a bit OTT. As with all of us, sometimes we’re just on wavelength, and Mr. Jevons was obviously on wavelength with Jay There will be days when he will be totally stumped and you will breeze through a puzzle, one man’s meat, etc.

          1. And hear hear from me too. Like BJ (welcome to the fold) I was pretty much on wavelength. You know how it is – when you’re hot you’re hot, and when you’re not, you’re not. I made this about 1*/3*, and particularly enjoyed 6a, 3d and 7d. VMTs to Jay, and to Kath.

        1. Glad you said it Merusa. Still don’t like 3D as I never read those books and had no idea they were called, “bodice rippers”. Weird.

  7. I too like Kath was looking for the missing something regarding ‘B’ in 1a, but to no avail, obviously there are ‘A’ listers and celeBrities- still elusive !
    Anyway , looked tricky to start with but overall a **/**** for me, excellent cluing throughout . Liked 16d and 19 amused, would probably have struggled with 22a but for the A.
    Thanks to Kath for the usual innovative blog pics.

  8. All went well until SW corner which was a bit sticky going. Thanks to setter & Kath particularly for visual to 13d. Clearly my Lab. (Biggles) wouldn’t appreciate me owning a V12 Ferrari “h********”. It fits the description though I doubt whether F. owners would concur.

  9. 3*/4* for me. I always enjoy the Wednesday puzzle, but especially enjoyed this one today, because it put up more of a fight than normal.
    Many thanks to Jay, and to Kath.

  10. Ah, this is more like it! A really good crossword with lots of good clues. It took me quite a while to sort the four long ones, but once I had, everything else fell into place. Putting TOPS for 1d maybe didn’t help and using the N instead of the I in 3d certainly didn’t make things easy, but I got there. Favourite was 13d and overall 3/4*.
    Thanks to Jay and to Kath.

  11. I’m with Kath on this one. Certainly not straightforward and the enjoyment factor raised as a result. Fair clueing, some great anagrams and 27 across just about my favourite.

    Thanks to Jay for the contest and to Kath for her hard work. 3*/4*

  12. When you do a crossword (like the Telegraph Online Weekly Prize one), and you successfully complete the crossword, but can’t parse about 5 of the answers, you realise what a great site this is!! Nothing so frustrating as not knowing why an answer is correct!!
    So thanks to BD for the site and everyone who puts the hints together!!
    Great work!!

  13. 22d – I assumed it was Ghana (G = golf, H = hotel)…These clues are too clever for me!!!

    1. I toyed with Ghana too but couldn’t parse it past the G H so held my horses for more crossers.

    2. I thought it was India but couldn’t justify writing it in until I read Kath’s excellent hints.

  14. I must have been exactly on Jay’s wavelength, as I found this almost a read and write. Only 3d caused a little head-scratching until the anagram untangled itself.

    My favourite vote goes to 22d for its cleverness. Very entertaining overall.

    Many thanks to Mr. Mutch and to Kath.

    1. I have to say, “No”! It must have screwed things up about as much as HIYD’s Ghana for 22d.
      I know I bang on about it but BD’s law (well, one of them) says that if you can’t justify your answer it’s probably wrong.

      1. Sound advice Kath, my Mr Micawber approach to answers does not always work.
        Just been through all your hints again in detail, great work. Award yourself a gold star 🌟!!

  15. Very enjoyable *****. 6A last one in but took me a good while to work out why the answer was that. I recall being stumped by a similar clue before so clearly don’t learn very quickly.

    I’d go **/***. 9A my fav followed by 1A and 3D

  16. He’s a very distinctive compiler, I think. Lots of part solve and then either insert or remove a single letter – we had a similar type one Sunday I recall. Not my favourite sort of clue, I’m afraid, hence ***/* from me. Too hot for crosswords anyway ( hope I am not turning into a ( more) miserable git!

    1. I am with you here. I didn’t like it much either. My post makes me sound like a miserable old git, but I am invited to give my opinion so I give it!

  17. Lovely crossword but I thought more difficult than the usual Wednesday offering 🤔 So ***/**** plenty of really good clues 22d, 19a, 7 & 11d 👍 Thanks for the lovely blog Kath and apologies for the plethora of favourites also thanks to Jay 😊 Only a thought but I have always used 5d in duplicate when using it as an expression of sympathy 😳

    1. I know what you mean about the 5d but if someone said it in duplicate to me I might whack them one – it feels rather patronising and a bit, “Calm down dear!” To say it just once sounds quite gentle and soothing.

      1. Surely you were trained to say There There around the same time you were taught to make tea Kath

        1. You’re living very dangerously MP – I’m too hot, I’m tired, I’m bitten to bits and generally a touch on the frazzled side. I’m having to water the greenhouse three times a day (the last time I looked the temperature in there was 42C), the cucumbers are trying to take over not just the greenhouse but the whole world – I have cucumbers coming out of my ears which is not an attractive look. However, in spite of all that, I’ll forgive you. :smile:

      2. “No one would call me a fussy man,
        I only want a little bit of butter for my bread.”
        The Queen said “there, there”, and went to the dairymaid.

        1. Oh dear – patronising – whack her! I think I’m fighting a losing battle here! :unsure:

        2. The Queen no less. I didn’t know that Her Majesty went to Nursing College. I used to read that poem to my two girls when they were little. We all still love it

  18. Enjoyable puzzle today, sadly I failed on 3 down, but only that one. Like Kath, I missed the anagram indicator in 25 across, but managed the correct answer.
    I just ordered a quadruple scotch. On downing it, I said to the barman “I shouldn’t really be drinking like this with what I’ve got”. “Oh, I’m sorry to hear it, what have you got” he asked. “57 pence”, said I.

    Thanks to all for setting and hints.

  19. Not my favourite compiler. Too many examples rather than synonyms. And “Gatecrashers?” has been used before. And the synonyms are inexact matches. “Gave up” is a poor clue for “Ceased.” “There” is only an expression of sympathy when said twice as far as I am concerned. Otherwise I loved it 😛

  20. Made quite a slow start but it all seemed to flow once the first few were nailed. Like Kath, I went round muttering the Quickie pun for ages before the light dawned!
    Podium places go to 19,21&27a plus 22d – impossible to pick a favourite from amongst them.

    Thanks to Jay and indebtedness to 1K for stepping into the breach and bringing her usual honest and humorous touch to the blog. Makes a lot of us feel so much better about the pitfalls and mine traps we invariably fall into along the way!

  21. I enjoyed this one. Fell into the Ghana trap in 22d at first – that is a very clever clue. Lots of smiles, with 19a probably the favourite.

    Thanks to the magic of satellite internet this post comes from 39,000 ft somewhere above the mid-Atlantic. The planefinder.com site we hear about from time to time has us over Venezuela, but since we’re just three hours out of Heathrow and heading to the US I hope that is an error. More likely is a location somewhere in the vicinity of Greenland.

    Thanks to Jay for the fun and to Kath for the entertaining blog.

  22. Really enjoyable. Finished it, but the sw corner put up the most resistance. For some reason 13d took the longest to solve. 3d was my favourite. Thanks to Jay and Kath.

  23. First of all, very sad news of Petitjean, my sympathies to his family. I loved his puzzles and find it hard to realise that we won’t have any more of those. A very sad day.

    I loved this and fairly galloped through the top, then came to a screeching halt at the halfway mark. The SW corner took forever to complete. In fact, I needed my gizmo to get 13d and that got me going again.
    So many fun clues, how can one choose a fave, but loved 27a and 3d, which I recalled from somewhere in the recesses of my brain.
    Thanks to Jay for the fun, and to Kath for standing in for the 2Ks.

    1. I had 13d as last in , I couldn’t see how ” small ” fitted into the clue and still not sure .A difficult solve but once the answers started to fall It was very satisfying . ***/*** Thanks to Kath and the setter.

      1. Mr Lab is right, Fran. The ‘small’ bit is just the one letter abbreviation for S(mall).

  24. Very enjoyable, lots of excellent clues. Favourite was 6a.
    Struggled with:=
    1d – the answer seems a bit far from Excels?
    3d – Never heard of the books
    13d – Doh
    22d – As previously mentioned
    Thanks to Kath for excellent hints and to Jay

    1. Hello,
      1d – the BRB says, for excels, to be superior to or better than; to surpass; and more in a similar vein.
      3d – you probably don’t want to!
      13d – as you say.
      Do you have a BRB? If not you probably should.
      Just keep going – I think you’re doing really well. :good:

  25. 2/4. Once I realised the setter was asking me to just do what the clue asked it turned out to be just as it said on the tin. I really liked 11,13&22d. Thanks to all.

  26. I was on wavelength for this one, even though very sleepy. Resisted the temptation of Ghana in 22d because I sensed a trap.

    14a was my favourite as, like our estimable reviewer, I spent quite a while trying to take a letter off the end of something rather than taking the end off. 27a was also a good one – a fun surface to the clue and a wonderful word.

    Thanks to Jay and to Kath for another great review.

    1. Yes – forgot to say how much I like the 27a word. Have you ever read ‘Balderdash & Piffle’?

      1. I didn’t read the book, but remember watching the TV series. I just had a quick look for a clip of that to include here, but given the subject of the most prominent one, I might just leave it…

  27. Well, delighted that this was given a 3* as I competed before the train reached London and before the blog was posted for the very first time! Usually when I complete I turn to the blog to discover that I have just done the easiest crossword since they stopped being carved in stone. Needless to say, thoroughly enjoyed this as I obviously hit the setters wavelength straight away even though I haven’t done a crossword for over a month. Particularly liked 20d and 22d. Thanks to all the bloggers and especially the setter today!

  28. Good evening everybody.

    Started well enough but most of the southwest corner eluded me and finished with 5 unsolved (14,21,24a and 13,18d). Should have had 18d. Not convinced by the first part of 13d.


    1. I think that the first part of 13d is slightly slangy, or even implying criminal plans – I’m just saying this because it’s how I think of it. The BRB says absolutely nothing to support what I’ve just said. It’s very likely that I’m wrong! Oh dear!

      1. Doesn’t one “hatch a plot”‘ thereby making it sound suspiciously criminal?

        1. Yes – that’s what I thought but BRB doesn’t seem to agree with us. Oh well – you win some, you lose some.

  29. The top half definitely felt easier than the rest. Struggled at the end on the combination of 13/21. Favourite clue 22d.

  30. Like Kath, I thought this looked difficult at first and then wondered why. Bunged in 22d – what else could it be? – and then so obvious with Kath’s hint. 2*/3***.
    Thanks to setter and to Kath, never ‘making do’.

  31. Usually on Jay’s wavelength, but not today, as only solved 4 clues on the first pass. Got better as morning went on and finished over lunch with Kath’s excellent hints. Never heard of 3d and like Kath I was removing the end letter in 14a, instead of the starting one. Favorite by far was 19a, very smile provoking.

  32. This took some getting into and felt tougher than some Wednesday’s. Loved 8d and thought 13d was very clever!!

    Many thanks to Jay and to Kath for a great blog.

  33. A toughie but I got there in the end except for 3d which I finally got with the help of others letters and the only words possible from the anagram. I liked 11d. For some reason it hit me straight away. I am also not sure that the clue for 1a really works. Assuming tirades = rants, preceded by B, I don’t see ‘cele’

      1. Yes, but I did spend a stupid amount of time trying to attach some significance to the ‘B’. Never mind – it’s hot, it’s late and we’re all tired.
        One day I will manage to do some hints without something going just a little bit wrong. Today it was my hint for 14a. A couple of weeks ago it was techie stuff – i live in hope! Thanks to all for your tolerance. :smile:

        1. Just wish we could all do it as well as you do, and with so much humour and general ‘niceness’.

        2. I can’t manage it Kath but I often get away with it. We haven’t ever claimed infallibility to my knowledge

  34. Just in case anyone has got this far down the comments and hasn’t read the hints and still doesn’t understand 14a you need to say, “If in doubt blame Kath”. That’s what they all used to say to me when I worked at the hospital. I’ve just updated the hint – thanks to Kitty for pointing out my mistake and apologies to all.

    1. Thanks Kath.
      Like you, I saw it the same way, and of course there is no such word as ******ED as ****** is not a verb so cannot have a past tense!!
      Kitty is bang on it’s EN******ED…
      PS – There is no sense of ‘blame’ on your behalf, on the contrary, an excellent set of hints and blog. Thanks very much.

    2. Here’s the thing: your blogs are ALWAYS entertaining, and that’s what it’s all about. Have a little giggle to lighten your day, what more can we want. You’re the best!

  35. Only needed the hint for 1d which is, I think, a personal best for me for a Jay puzzle, so I am quite pleased with myself.
    It is all thanks to this blog, though.

    I have always thought of a 19a as being sleeveless and the sleeved versions being jerseys or jumpers…..maybe it’s just our family…..

    Many thanks to Jay and to Kath.

  36. Thanks to everyone for the very nice comments.
    Thanks to Jay for a great crossword.
    Night night all . . . :yawn:

  37. Had a good laugh at 18d.
    Daughter in Krakow for the big catholic do.
    Hope she hasn’t heard me or I will burn in hell.
    Thanks to Jay and to kath for keeping the blog lively.

  38. seem to be on a wavelength with BJ in comment 7-it is seldom that I can finish the back page cryptic without resort to the hints -one that is rated 3* for difficulty too !-perhaps because doing it a day late the weather is that much cooler ! -any way, found the hints most enjoyable, also the puzzle, and 21A

    small quibble with the quickie-6D- does “winter sport ace” really relate to “ski jumper” ?

  39. Thanks for your comment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the crossword and the hints.
    I don’t often do the quickie, apart from making sure that I’ve made sense of the pun, something that took me a long time yesterday, Wednesday, but I would imagine that you’re right about the winter sport ace.
    In general BD prefers us not to discuss the quickie, or the Toughie for that matter, here as it can spoil things for people who haven’t yet done it. You can always comment on the Comment page.

    1. Rats – that was meant to be in reply to Robin Newman’s comment. I obviously didn’t hit the reply button!

      1. Thanks for your reply-sorry to show ignorance but I was unaware that there was another comment page-I have had a quick look through the website.

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