DT 28177 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28177

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28177

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

It is nice to be home again and back to our usual routine after a brief sojourn in the South Island. It is a good feeling to think,”Wednesday once more and another Jay puzzle to solve, blog and enjoy”. 

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Scheme of theft by Tories (10)
CONSPIRACY : A four letter abbreviation for Tories or Conservatives and a word for theft of copyright material.

6a     Round of applause for writing (4)
HAND : Double definition. The first is represented by the parts of the body used to applaud.

10a     Mellow, going topless on so many occasions (5)
OFTEN : Take a word meaning to make mellow and remove its first letter.

11a     Uncontrollable elation, boxing copper’s jab (9)
INOCULATE : An anagram (uncontrollable) of ELATION contains the chemical symbol for copper.

12a     Extend time spent in gaol (7)
STRETCH : A double definition. Split the clue as underlined above to see the two meanings.

13a     Statesmen must make bets (7)
YANKEES : Double definition. These bets are multiple bets on four horses in four races.

14a     Island country about to delay military base (12)
INSTALLATION : The one letter abbreviation for island and a word for a country or sovereign state contains a word meaning to delay or cause an interruption.

18a     Spreading one’s interest in sporting venue (7,5)
PLAYING FIELD : Double definition. The first is a verbal phrase.

21a     Remedy for lack of spirit across street? (7)
NOSTRUM : The abbreviation for street is inside a negative word and a spirit made from sugar cane.

23a     Chap with assignation getting authority (7)
MANDATE : A synonym for a chap and a possibly romantic assignation.

24a     Floating voter’s accommodation? (9)
HOUSEBOAT : A cryptic definition of where a water-borne citizen might dwell.

25a     Bush exposed in registered letter from the East (5)
ELDER : A reversed lurker hiding in the clue.

26a     Ferret circling European animal that’s hunted (4)
PREY : A word meaning to ferret or snoop contains the abbreviation for European.

27a     Roughly revise unfamiliar test items from table (10)
SERVIETTES : Two anagrams put together, (roughly) REVISE and (unfamiliar) TEST.


1d     Difficult to please, but house has snug covering (6)
CHOOSY : The two letter abbreviation for house is inside a word meaning snug.

2d     Fundamental character of the forces that form the world (6)
NATURE : A double definition.

3d     One sign suppressed by shamefaced prisons (14)
PENITENTIARIES : The Roman numeral One and the zodiac sign represented by a ram follow (‘suppressed by’ in a down clue) a word meaning shamefaced.

4d     Chamber once putting right case wrong (9)
REICHSTAG : An anagram (wrong) of RIGHT CASE.

5d     Shed tears about working for a mate (5)
CRONY : A two letter word saying that something is working is inside ‘to shed tears’.

7d     Theoretical type at university (8)
ACADEMIC : Double definition.

8d     Sauce that may be put on either of window tables? (8)
DRESSING : The answer can be used after ‘window’ to give superficial appeal, or before ‘tables’ to give bedroom furniture.

9d     Takes no notice of potential blunder in Yeats (5,1,5,3)
TURNS A BLIND EYE : An anagram (potential) BLUNDER IN YEATS.

15d     Musical device ruining movie title that’s unfinished (9)
LEITMOTIV : An anagram (ruining) of MOVIE TITLe after the final E has been removed.

16d     Non-union business starts on hotel work (4,4)
OPEN SHOP : A synonym for starts or commences, the abbreviation for hotel and then a musical work.

17d     Service function absorbing English manipulator (8)
MASSEUSE : A church service, then the abbreviation for English and a word for function or purpose.

19d     Armed thief losing head for quiet Hindu scholar (6)
PANDIT : Take a word for an armed thief and replace the first letter (which is a B), with the musical symbol for quiet.

20d     Organs try suppressing test, oddly (6)
HEARTS : Try as might happen in a court of law and the first and third letters of test.

22d     Animal doctor poses naked (5)
MOOSE : A Medical Officer and then ‘poses’ with its first and last letters removed.

 Our favourite today is 4d.

Quickie pun     pour    +    keep    +    highs    =    porky pies

51 comments on “DT 28177

  1. No problems today apart from 15d which is new to me I think. Needed Google to unpick that one. Best clue for me was 21a followed closely by 4d.
    Thx to all ,now off to thrash the little white ball again.

  2. 3*/4*. Another lovely Wednesday puzzle combining concise cluing (only two with more than eight words!), great surfaces and nice touches of humour. As with yesterday’s back-pager, the NW corner put up the biggest fight with 2d my last one in.

    I wasn’t familiar with the spelling of 15d having previously only come across the answer with an F as the last letter, and 19d was a new word for me.

    I particularly liked 18a & 8d as well as the image created by 22d. However 25a is my favourite today for its brilliant surface.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks.

  3. Jay did us proud today – thoroughly enjoyable as was the Quick one which somehow seemed to have a hint of Cryptic about it. I’m with Brian in having picked 21a as Fav. Thank you Jay for much fun and the 2Ks whose enthusiasm is infectious even if hints were not needed today. ***/***.

  4. 18a. Surely “spreading one’s interest” requires the definite article between the two words in the answer?!

  5. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, well constructed as usual from Jay. Slightly on the gentle side, but great fun. 19d was a new word for me, but gettable from the wordplay. I thought 20d was a different organ at first, but got the right one once I had more checkers :-) Favourite was 8d. Was 2*/4* for me.

  6. Had a complete blind spot over 6a for no good reason and then took ages to parse 8d – fortunately everything else fell into place quite smoothly.
    19d was a new one for me but easily doable.
    Hard to pick a favourite but I’ll opt for 21a with a nod to 16d.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks – there was a most enjoyable programme on TV here last night about the wildlife of South Island.

      1. Both programmes are still available on BBC iPlayer.

        I must visit NZ … I just wish it wasn’t so far away!

        1. Stan, it might be a long way to come here but well worth it in our opinion. At least you are not as far away as Pommers. We did work out at some stage that he is about as far away from us as it is possible to be on the surface of the planet.

      2. Yes – I really enjoyed that one as well. Looking forward to next week’s episode.

    1. So pleased that you are all enjoying our wildlife. We think it is rather special but there could be a slight bias in that.

  7. I thought this was really difficult today, although the cluing was fair and as always, so obvious once I’d got it, 3*/3*. Didn’t spot the anagram in 11a for ages, made really hard work of 6a, which I only got after 8d and it took me a long time to understand that. I liked 1a, 24a and 27a particularly but they were all good. I find it so interesting how we all differ, I suppose it’s if you can get into the setter’s mindset and how your own mind works.
    Many thanks to Jay and 2 Kiwis.

  8. Nice crossword as always from Jay ***/*** 😊 Found NW corner quite tricky 🤔 Liked a lot of clues but thinking of Goodwood 21a & 8d win by a short head 😁 Big thanks to the 2 x Ks and Jay

  9. Looked difficult on first read through but soon got into the swing and a **/**** for me, I’m pleased to note the high general enjoyment factor as the solve was the most enjoyable for a while for me, lovely cluing throughout. No real favourites today, maybe 19d- remembered the scholar from somewhere – was Nehru one ?- just had a d’oh moment , must be him in the blog pic !.Oh and Moose made me smile.
    Thanks to setter and the 2K’s.

  10. A steady plod, 17d last in; 20d required some parsing time. Only dim moment was when I was trying to think of different sauces (8d), and then realised I was mentally repeating the word *guess what* to myself. Der…

    All OK but (sorry Ron) **/**
    Thanks 2k’s et al.

  11. Hadn’t heard of 15d, but managed to work it out and then check it was a word. Thank you 2ks and Jay.

  12. Pleasantly solved in Postmans Park near St Pauls Cathedral before a trip to The Victoria and Albert Children’s Museum in Bethnal Green to see the Smallfilms exhibition. Now to the pub.

  13. Liked 9d, 16d & 27a but favourite was 22d.

    Confused myself by trying to put the sauce after tables.

    Many thanks Jay for a lovely puzzle and thanks as always 2Kiwis

  14. A bit nearer a 3* difficulty for me today as the last four answers took longer than the rest of the crossword and 3* for enjoyment too.
    The ‘tables’ of 8d defeated me which was dim to say the least.
    Spent too long trying to use the ‘S in the 11a anagram – just goes to show that my counting’s gone a bit wrong today.
    I’ve met the 13a bets before but had forgotten about them so tried to think of politicians for the statesmen.
    Didn’t know 19d but it wasn’t too tricky to work out.
    I liked 1 and 24a. My favourite was 22d.
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s.

  15. Enjoyable crossword from Jay. Too many good clues to be able to select a favourite.
    Thanks to 2ks for the blog.

  16. 2/3. A bit of a mixed bag for me. Really liked 13&21a&3d. Kate Fox (Watching the English) would have preferred napkins for 27a. Another glorious day in prospect. Someone’s got to live here 😄 Thanks to all.

  17. Slow to get going again! ***/*** for me. Couldn’t see why voter was needed in 24a but sort of get it now. Last in was 17d – could do with one right now. Thanks all.

  18. When solving 24a, I Googled houseboat voter only to find an article saying that a houseboat wasn’t a proper address for the electoral roll. So much for the clue.
    Liked 8d (sauce), 22d (animal doctor) , the double anagram in 27a and a few others come to think of it.
    Maybe just 18a (spreading) left me a bit indifferent.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

  19. I found this of perfect midweek difficulty and as enjoyable as usual.

    The 13a bets were new to me so that was a bit of a guess. 19d was also new, but readily deducible.

    I had 18a down as a charade. The verbal phrase would be a bit naughty!

    For 8d I thought of table dressing only.

    22d is my favourite today. There’s something inherently funny about a moose (or maybe it’s just me again), and crosswords are always good for a bit of gratuitous nudity. Great surface too.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis. Good work by all.

  20. It must be me having the brain fried by the summer hear at 1400CEST when we solved this over lunch. I thought it a bit trickier than usual and would have gone for ***/**** had I been in the blogging seat today.

    22d was favourite as it appealed to my schoolboy sense of humour. Conjured up visions of our local vet in Almoradi posing naked – I should be so lucky :lol:

    Thanks to Jay and the Kiwis.

  21. Thanks to the ever-reliable Jay for the usual fine puzzle and to 2K for their usual very enjoyable blog. I was a bit confused initially by the ‘voter’ in 24a, but I suppose that a ‘floating voter’ could be someone who elects to float/live on the water.

  22. Thank you, Jay, for restoring my faith in my ability to solve crosswords. This one was so much fun, poles apart from yesterday’s.
    I’m guessing our older members will recall 19d more readily because of Pandit Nehru.
    I had to look up the spelling of 4d, and whether 15d could be spelt with a “v” at the end.
    Very difficult to choose a fave from this lot of gems, I suppose between either 21a and 22d.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis!

  23. Thanks Jay for a lovely crossword! Took a while to get going but once I was ‘in’ everything started to make sense. I liked 18a, I guess I just liked the innuendo….
    3/3* overall.
    Thanks also to the 2K’s for their review.

  24. Another brain fade for me which makes it two in a row. However as they say “it’s not you it’s me”. Thanks for the tips – I needed them today.

  25. The usual consistently high standard of cluing to which we have become accustomed on a Wednesday, but why oh why Mr. Mutch did you feel the need to use “suppress” twice as an indicator?

    My favourite clue was 8d for its cleverness.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  26. Good evening everybody.

    A joint solve today with me opening and closing. A touch sterner than usual so


  27. 18a had me stumped and agreed with Vince a key word seems to be missing , I found this very tough but apart from 18a and to a certain extent 16d , the clues were satisfying to unravel. ***/ *** Thanks to the 2Ks

  28. I found this pretty tough, but after a whole afternoon/early evening of toil, I made it. Last in 17 down.. Anyone have 13 down in the quick ? I have ?E?I?S?S. May have gone wrong elsewhere, any help appreciated . And please tell me the pun is not “porky-pies ?!”
    Thanks to setter and 2Ks. ****/****.

    1. You have all the correct checkers. People are what you are looking for, not bony structures.

  29. Good morning all.
    A wild stormy day is just about to dawn here. All plans for outdoor activities are on hold. Could be a good day to catch up on some of the puzzles that we missed last week.

  30. Oh dear, definitely in *** difficulty for me, needed far too many of the excellent hints from two Kiwis to finish. Never heard of 15d and did not associate 4d with a chamber. Used to be on Jay’s wavelength. I hope I have my thinking head on tomorrow.

  31. By my (admittedly highly subjective) criteria, this is 1/2* difficulty and 3.5* enjoyment. 21a gets my vote for top clue, but 22d made me smile too. Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

  32. Found today satisfying and thoroughly enjoyable ** to *** and ****. Just what I needed before facing the challenge presented by running the County 36 hole Junior ball thrashing Championship.
    Like some others 6a and 8d gave me problems. The former so simple yet not. 8d thought the “sauce” referred to impudence then saw the connection with windows but missed the tables. 8d my pick.
    Thank you to Jay for a just-solvable(for me) challenge
    Also 2K for hints every bit as good as the clues

  33. Enjoyed this much more than yesterday’s, although I did find it quite hard.
    Needed the hints for 5d and 13a, despite having worked for a short time in a bookie’s .
    It was a very long time ago, though…..

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2 Kiwis.

  34. I did this Thursday morning as we were out all day yesterday. Definitely at the easier end of Jay’s spectrum but no less enjoyable. 1.5*/3.5* overall with belated thanks to himself and our 2Ks.

  35. Superb. NW corner very good for me. 1a straight in – loved it. I like 23a for simplicity. I think my dad used to do 13a but never did 12a. Loved both. 18a took me ages for some reason. Could not get the second word but can’t think why. Last in 15d but do-able once I had 27a. Thanks setter et at.

  36. Gosh, that was hard!!
    Usually I am right on the money with Jay, but not today!!
    Thanks to 2xK for the hints and Jay for the puzzle.

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