DT 28184 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28184

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28184

Hints and tips by Kath

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

Hello everyone – only me! I have no doubt at all that this is a Ray T crossword – it has all his trademarks and anyway it’s his week. I think it’s probably somewhere in the middle of his range of difficulty but, as always, I’m very happy for any or all of you to disagree with me as I find it almost impossible to judge when I know that I’m doing the hints.

Please leave us a comment telling us how you got on today.

In the hints below the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under the bits that tell you to ANSWER so only do that if you need to see them and try not to do it by mistake.


1a            Aggravated by lie altered on purpose (12)
DELIBERATELY — An anagram (aggravated) of BY LIE ALTERED. A nice long anagram almost all the way across the top is such a nice way to start off specially if you’re smart enough to do it straight away – I wasn’t and didn’t.

9a            Covering Rolling Stones, perhaps getting older (9)
BANDAGING — The Rolling Stones is just an example of what they were, indicated by ‘perhaps’, so it could be the Beatles or Manfred Mann or whoever takes your fancy – follow that with a word for what they’re all doing (getting older) whether or not they care to admit it.


10a         Hug sweetheart and complain (5)
GRIPE — This kind of ‘hug’ is not a nice cuddly affectionate one – it’s more of a tight hold and it’s followed by the middle letter (heart) of sweet – a trademark Ray T clue.


11a         Faith must be given hard push (6)
THRUST — A word meaning faith or belief contains (must be given) the one letter abbreviation for H(ard).

12a         Steps too much, turning heel (8)
STILETTO — These steps are the kind that you could clamber over on a country walk and they’re followed by a reversal (turning) of three letters meaning too much or more than is necessary.

13a         Take issue from seed if fertilised (6)
DIFFER — Our first lurker of the day – the answer is hidden (from) in the middle of the last three words of the clue. If I can find it, and I did, so can all the rest of you.

15a         Attractive female creating impression (8)
FETCHING — Start off with the one letter abbreviation for F(emale) and follow that with an impression or engraving.

18a         Bore I’m interrupting to put off (8)
DIAMETER — The full way of saying ‘I’m’, in other words without using an apostrophe, is inside (interrupting) a word to put off or discourage.

19a         Love practically naked flipping bird (6)
DUNLIN — A word meaning love, or nothing as a score, and three of a four letter word (practically) for naked or bare are all reversed (flipping) – with a bit of luck you’ll come up with this bird that I’d never heard of which is also called a Sandpiper or a Stint.


21a         Grow corn by rotating uncultivated ground (8)
MUSHROOM — Corn here is not a crop – it’s a word that is over-used or sentimental – it’s followed by a reversal (rotating) of a large area of wild or uncultivated ground.

23a         Sack with gold brick’s first found in coat (6)
BEDAUB — The sack is what people might hit when retiring for the night – it’s followed by the two letter chemical symbol for gold and finished off with the first letter of B(rick) (brick’s first).

26a         Rover‘s certainly not hot under the collar (5)
NOMAD — A short word meaning certainly not or don’t even think about it is followed by another meaning hot under the collar or angry.


27a         Fancy stylish gallery has almost plush interior (9)
INTRICATE — Another way of saying stylish or fashionable is followed by a London art gallery which contains (has) most of (almost) a word meaning plush or luxurious.

28a         Church people having opinion about Genesis (12)
COMMENCEMENT — One of the many two letter abbreviations for church and a general term for people or the human race are contained in (having opinion about) another word for an opinion or remark.



1d            Considered performance circling club (7)
DEBATED — A performance or act around (circling) the kind of club that whacks a cricket ball.

2d            Form of Nile river transport? (5)
LINER — An anagram (form of) of NILE is followed by the one letter abbreviation for R(iver).


3d            Garment that’s about to be suspended below neck? (9)
BRASSIERE — This ‘neck’ isn’t the bit of you that attaches your head to the rest of your body – it’s rudeness or boldness (or lip or cheek to carry on the body theme) – beneath that (to be suspended below) you just need to add the two letter abbreviation meaning that is and another one for about or concerning.


4d            Sack backup supporting Queen (4)
RAID — The one letter for the Latin word for Queen is followed by a backup or assistance.

5d            United tie, letting in own goal (8)
TOGETHER — A verb to tie, often meaning to restrain an animal with a length of rope, contains (letting in) the two letters for that terrible faux pas, an O(wn) G(oal) – something I’d never heard of in pre-blog days.

6d            Sanctioned member and a Labour leader (5)
LEGAL — The member is not a member of parliament, it’s a limb and most people have two of them – follow one of them with the A from the clue and the first letter (leader) of L(abour).

7d            Bad case of wind gripping one (8)
MISTRIAL — The ‘wind’ is a cold dry NE one in Southern France – it contains (gripping) the letter that looks like a one in Roman numerals. A lot of misdirection here – the answer is not at all as it first seems!

8d            Take ages to fit in (6)
BELONG — If this is split 2,4 it means take ages or too much time as in if you’re going somewhere someone could say, “OK, but don’t ** ****”.

14d         Obscurely see a form that’s terrifying (8)
FEARSOME — An anagram (obscurely) of SEE A FORM.


16d         Burn abnormally acute growth (9)
CAUTERISE — Another anagram (abnormally) of ACUTE which is followed by a growth or an increase.

17d         Sensuality‘s odd methods in wasting time (8)
HEDONISM — . . . and another anagram (odd) this time of METHODS IN without (wasting or getting rid of) the one letter abbreviation for T(ime). This one caused grief, huge grief – I didn’t see the anagram indicator and it was my last answer. Oh dear!


18d         Embraced by blonde, man denies urge (6)
DEMAND — Our second lurker or hidden answer indicated by ‘embraced by’ – it’s in the middle of the third, fourth and fifth words of the clue.

20d         Most aristocratic old boy left in retreat (7)
NOBLEST — The two letter abbreviation for O(ld) B(oy) and the one letter for L(eft) are contained in (in) a retreat or shelter.

22d         Wireless router accesses data — internet opening starts (5)
RADIO — The first letters (starts) of the middle five words of the clue – another of Ray T’s trademark clues which gave me temporary blindness – thought we were being a bit ‘techie’ here when I first read it.

24d         Wide open space in empty amphitheatre (5)
AGAPE — A space or cavity are contained in (in) the first and last letters (empty) of A(mphitheatr)E.

25d         Shock seeing potty upset (4)
STUN — A reversal (upset) of a word meaning potty, as in not quite sane.

I liked lots of these but to keep it short a few of them are 21 and 26a and 3 and 25d. My favourite was 7d.

The Quickie Pun:- CASH + HEWN + HUTS = CASHEW NUTS  

87 comments on “DT 28184

  1. 4*/4* for a very enjoyable and challenging Ray T puzzle with all his usual hallmarks. A few clues stretched my overall time over 3*. Lots of possibles from which to select a favourite and those that made it to my podium were 23a, 7d and, taking the gold, 9a.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

  2. Thanks Kath, a Ray-T, I had not twigged, but it explains why this looks so difficult

    1. HIYD. It’s easy to twig a Ray T immediately just by looking at the Quickie underneath. If it’s a Thursday and all the Quick clues are one-worders, then it’s a Ray T – deffo!

  3. I found that the LHS of this puzzle went in quickly and the rest was definitely on the tricky side.

    Excellent puzzle with thanks to Kath and RayT 3*/4.5*

  4. Thank you RayT for a pleasant spin and Kath for your pithy hints which I just managed to avoid falling back onto but did enjoy reading. Hadn’t heard of the alternative for a sandpiper in 19a but it had to be. Fav 7d when the penny dropped. ***/***.

  5. What an enjoyable puzzle today. 28 was the last in and took quite some time until I focused on the possibility that Genesis might be the definition. Agree ***/**** rating. Favourite was 7d with 18a 21a and 3d runners up.
    No explanations needed today but thanks all the same.

    1. I agree with you, except my last one was 17 down, despite all the indicators being present.

      I don’t know what it is about RayT’s puzzles, but I’ve always found them more straightforward than most others. A wavelength thing I suppose. I thought this one was quite sparkling.

      Each to his/her own.

  6. Cards, chocs, wine, a BD banner, a back-pager from my favourite setter and a blog from our lovely Kath – what more could a girl ask for on her birthday! Oh yes – a nice lunch out – coming up in a short while.
    Another brilliant puzzle from The Man complete with a few head-scratchers. 17d was my last one in along with 28a where, having tried initially to justify ‘congregation’ with only one checker in place, I couldn’t see beyond it.
    Long list of potential favourites including 9,15&21a plus 3,7&8d.

    Devotions to Mr. T and many thanks to Kath for another of her much enjoyed reviews.

  7. We had to work hard with this one and it took us what we would call Toughie time, so more than 3 star difficulty for us The bird in 19a was one of those where we were pleasantly surprised to find in BRB that we had got the wordplay correct. Plenty to keep us challenged and amused. We did of course check the clue word count as usual. All correct.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.
    PS Nearly forgot. Happy Birthday Jane.

  8. I had entered DEFIES for 13a, an anagram (fertilised?) of SEED IF – it fit the checkers and seemed to work (almost), I only became aware of the mistake when I submitted – oh dear, I normally spot the lurkers.

    Favourite is the brilliant 7d (Bad case of wind gripping one), with plenty more to enjoy.

    Many thanks Kath for a superb review and thanks as always to RayT

  9. Definitely a tale of two halves for me. The top half went in quite easily, not so the bottom half. 4*/2* Many thanks to the setter and to Kath for the hints.

  10. I thought that this was quite tricky. Thanks to Ray T for the enjoyment and to Kath for her usual superb review. 9a and 7d could not be split for favouritism so it was a dead-heat.
    Happy Birthday to Jane.

  11. The wordplay to 19a led me to the correct answer, which I wrote on a scrap piece of paper, then discounted it, as I had never heard of the bird….
    A couple of other tricky ones held me up for a while, but I got there in the end.

    Thanks to RayT, and to Kath.

  12. I’m beginning to get the feeling that I probably misjudged the difficulty today – when people like the Kiwis and Gazza say they found it tricky I know that I did.
    Apologies to anyone who has found a 3* difficulty rating discouraging – I’d hate to do that to you – just listen to the people who know what they’re talking about i.e. the aforementioned Kiwis and Gazza.

    1. I thought it was edging into Beam territory, especially in the SW corner so I was surprised when you gave it a 3

      1. Oh dear – at least I was right when I said that I always find it tricky to judge difficulty and enjoyment when I know that I’m doing the hints.

        1. It’s why I never rate Monday’s puzzles. This one would have graced the Toughie slot for sure.

          1. The scoring to me is a bizarre concept, particularly when we have R&W Toughies in the same week as we have Toughie fodder on the back page.
            Besides, if this is a back-page 3, would it be a Toughie 3 also? Or just a 2 because the Toughie is supposed to be tougher??
            The mind boggles.

            1. I agree that scoring is a rather hit and miss affair (in my case today that’ll be a miss!)
              I’m pretty sure that different ‘hinty people’ approach it in different ways. I know that lots time themselves and so a crossword that took between certain times would be rated accordingly. I don’t time myself but just go on how I felt at the time of doing it (and how much hair I have left at the end!)
              Given that we score from 1* – 5* for difficulty then, by my reckoning, that makes 3* about average.
              I imagine that Toughies are scored a bit differently but since I’m far too much of a scaredy cat to go near doing the hints for one of those I don’t know.

  13. An enjoyable battle again from Ray T with some very good clues. Needed the blog to fully explain 3d. Liked 9a, 18a, and 16d. Thanks to all involved.

  14. Phew, that took some time as practically every clue needed teasing out. A great tussle which is what I enjoy most.. 3d was bunged in and I couldn’t see the parsing until I read Kaths excellent blog. Like Kath 17d was my last one in. That is my kind of anagram. Many thanks to Mr T and many thanks to Kath especially for showing that the word brassiere can be illustrated tastefully.

  15. Above my pay grade hardly covers how I got on with this one today.

    Only managed 7 answers alone and unaided, then even with electronic help still took ages.

    Missed the same anagram indicator as Kath and the second lurker….brain fade by then.

    My only consolation is that I had heard of 19a.

    Many thanks to Kath for the much needed hints.

  16. I found this one to be of moderate difficulty now I have found the way to deal with RayT. This is my Sherlock Holmes procedure – think of all the synonyms you can – cross out all the reasonable and sensible ones and what is left MUST be the right one however ridiculous and impossible it appears. A clear example of this is 17d which is clearly a stretch as a synonym.
    3*/1* for me.

    1. Glad someone else approaches his puzzles in the same way, logic certainly doesn’t enter into his clues.

    2. G. 17d: The synonym isn’t stretched at all – straight out of the BRB (thesaurus) and also other reference sources.

  17. A very enjoyable and testing Ray T for us to enjoy today. 9 across easily my favourite of many great clues. 23 across inexplicably my last one until the coin hit the floor.

    Thanks to Ray and to Kath for an entertaining blog. 3*/4*

  18. Reference the members in 6d. As Kath rightly states most of us have two which is actually more than the average number for the whole of the U.K. Once you have worked that one out you might consider this. I once worked with a chap who had a false leg and a real foot.

  19. And there I thought I had found an anagram indicator at 13a (fertilised) to create Defies but it is a lurker😱

  20. Tough test but oh so nearly doable for me.
    Needed help on 17d tried odd as referring to letters & did not think of anagram. Never really thought of h******* as sensual but I see it is.
    Favourite 7d followed by 21a.
    Thank you to setter & Kath for help. Nice to know even experts miss things sometimes – there”s hope for us yet.

    1. Yes – I also tried odd letters with 17d – I think I tried almost everything but the blindingly obvious. :roll:

      1. Fortunately you got there – otherwise I (& I guess a few others) wouldn’t.

  21. Spent too long thinking on ‘peachxxx’ for 15a. Once that dawned on me 7d, 8d & 12a followed.
    Nearly fell for the 13a trap, but it just didn’t seem right so I thought again….aha! 18a also brought on a bout of stubble-rubbing.
    Think we had 23a a short while ago (?) so it sprang to mind.

    Very satisfying and enjoyable so I’m with Kath & YS ***/****

    Many thanks to all as ever.

  22. Quite tough for me today had to resort to help definitely 4/4. Thanks to Kath no RayT.

  23. Managed to finish this dreadful puzzle, up to or should I say down to the usual Ray T standard. So many poor clues it’s a job to know where to start but by far the worst is 21a, mush=corn, oh do leave off! Not in the BRB.
    ***/-100 for me.
    Thx for the hints

    1. B. 21a: Another synonym that isn’t stretched at all. Mush = corn – straight out of the BRB (Thesaurus), Collins Online and probably all the rest.

  24. Many thanks to everyone who left birthday wishes for me. Just got back from a lovely lunch out with friends.
    Coffee and the PJ Toughie seems to be the best plan for the rest of the afternoon.

  25. I thought this brilliant puzzle was one of the best back-pagers of the year so far. I am in awe, Mr Terrell!

    Yes, it was certainly challenging and many clues needed coaxing out slowly, but the reward of the effort involved was eminently worth it.

    So many superb constructions, especially 19a, 21a, 3d, 5d and 8d, but I could have picked numerous others. Cream of the crop though for me was 7d, absolutely fantastic!

    A big thank you to RayT and to Kath, and many happy returns to Jane. How lucky she is to have her special day graced by such an excellent puzzle :-)

    1. Very lucky indeed, Sillvanus – plus I now have memories of ‘the mad hat’ to look forward to in the Toughie.
      Many thanks for the good wishes, I’m really enjoying my day.

  26. Will confess to this being an ‘all-afternooner’ for me. A real challenge, I needed hint for the bird at 19 a.

    ****/**** from me. Regards setter and the fragrant Kath.

  27. What a cracking puzzle from the Master. So many nudge nudge moments . Favourite by a mile was 3 – what a brilliant clue! This was RayT at his best and I also liked 5 7 13 14 15 17 18 [Great surface] 19 and 28. Thanks to RayT and fellow worshipper Kath.

  28. A terrific puzzle, gusting 3* difficulty and a solid 4* for enjoyment. I enjoyed this more than many a Toughie. Lots of contenders for top clue (12a, 3D, 18a, 7d, 28a) but if I have to choose it’s 7d. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

      1. Thank you, Salty – it’s been such a good day I’m wondering whether I can get away with having another birthday tomorrow!

  29. A very difficult RayT back-pager today – it seemed like a Beam with a few anagrams thrown in?

    Very enjoyable!

    Thanks to Kath for explaining the ones I could not explain

  30. I found this really, really difficult today. Having got 1a and several others very quickly and congratulating myself (!), I ground to a complete halt and thought I would never manage but very slowly got there. 4.5*/4* a great crossword, I think my favourite was actually 8d.
    Thanks to Ray T and Kath and happy birthday to Jane.

  31. Very tough and quite obscure in parts. Some good clues (9a) but some not so good (21a). Before I went to look at Kath’s hints (ta muchly) I had a feeling Brian would have a view on this. I wasn’t disappointed! Thanks also to the setter for stumping me.

  32. Evening all. Many thanks to Kath for the unravelling and to all for your comments. Also, happy birthday to Jane.


    1. Many thanks, Mr. T – both for your good wishes and another great puzzle.
      So nice that you always pop in to see what we’ve been saying – that counts for a lot.

  33. Even though this was miles above my pay grade, I don’t have an issue with this. There will always be a wide range of solving abilities for a national newspaper and what works for one will not work for another. On days that I can do the back-pager, doubtless those who completed today’s puzzle without any problem would be bored stiff.
    It was enjoyable going through Kath’s excellent hints. The main issue I have with Ray-T’s puzzles is the complexity of the wordplay. 19a – “practically naked flipping” = “three of a four letter word (practically) for naked or bare are all reversed (flipping)” – Really?? I have much to learn, I hope I have enough years left.
    The main thing though is to thank Kath for an excellent set of hints, congratulate Jane on a birthday and thank BD on the continued excellence of this site.

    1. What a very nice, sensible comment.
      Ray T crosswords are an “acquired taste”. The more you do the more you appreciate the complexity.
      As always it’s all to do with ‘wave-length’, not to mention other ‘stuff’ that’s going on around you.
      Stick me in front of a Friday Giovanni – I go blind!! I’m not much better with Monday Rufus crosswords . . . but thank you for your comment. :smile:

    2. Very well put: I am also on the learning curve and like you, enjoying the challenge.
      I know you have sporting interests – have you read “Bounce, The myth of talent & the power of practice” by Matthew Syed? If not you may find it interesting.
      Don’t disagree with the wavelength thing but ,as Gary Player once said “The more I practice the better I get” applies to crosswords as well as bunker play.
      The site & the free coaching given by BD, Kath, DT, 2Ks et al and the comments of solvers has given me enthusiasm. Thanks to all for your hard work.
      Hope the kitchen’s finished.

  34. I didn’t quite manage to squeeze in enough time to comment earlier, but sometimes one just has to wait.

    RayT in a summer mood today I thought, giving us one full of cheekiness and fun. Thumbs up. :good:

    Definitely a bit of a step up from the puzzles earlier in the week although I didn’t find it as hard as some.

    I didn’t actually do 28a because I’d got hung up on the insertion going the other way round, with the genesis inside an opinion and the answer being church people of some kind. I put the puzzle to one side and then later catterbrainedly read the review without having come back first to finish. Frustrating!

    My shortlist for favourite contains most of the acrosses – to pick three, 11a, 12a, and 21a, as well as 3d and 18d. Not to mention the wonderfully disguised definition in 7d. My favourite is 19a for the introduction to a new bird, with a surface to love, and beautifully illustrated getting wet above.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Kath, a joyous Thursday pairing indeed!

    1. P.S. If people consider RayT a little too much for the back page, how about this for an idea: Move the trickier ones to the Tuesday Toughie slot. Not replacing Beam, but as an addition: perhaps “Light Beam” or some such. Just an idea – not that I’d have a vested interest in such a move … oh no, not at all!

      1. Interesting thought, Kitty. I was wondering if Ray-T’s puzzles should be on a Monday when there is no Toughie, it must be a bit of stretch for you guys/gals to have to do two Toughies in a day every other Thursday???

        1. It was a slightly tongue-in-cheek suggestion, Hoofit! I’m usually right on RayT’s wavelength, so they’re not Toughies for me. (The same can’t be said for his Beamishly difficult alter ego.) Mainly I just want to blog a RayT or three!

          1. Understand.
            I find most of the Toughies easier than Ray-T’s puzzles, I guess it all comes down to a wavelength thing.

  35. Thursday 😩 Never came close to finishing 😥 Big thanks to Kath for all her help and to Ray T ****/**. Liked 9a & especially 19a I did not like 18a, 23a & 28a 😳

  36. A good puzzle, but an extremely difficult one, well into Toughie territory for me. The NE corner was by far the last to fall.

  37. Was doing good at breakfast and then ground to a halt at lunchtime. Thanks for the hints Kath which helped me finish. I concur with the others who find Ray T puzzles above their pay grade. Didn’t like 19d, never heard of that bird and doubt if many have. 17d was another stinker. And I bunged in congregation for 28a even though it didn’t quite fit the clue, and turned out to be wrong and messed me up for four down clues. On the plus side, there is the satisfaction of filling in those you can solve, and know that tomorrow is another day. Oh and happy birthday to Jane.

  38. Good evening everybody.

    A joint effort today and a puzzle of two halves with 16 solutions going in on first pass, mostly left hand side, followed by quite a struggle to finish. Eventually got there but I’m fairly sure my oppo resorted to electronic subterfuge a couple of times along the way. I’m certain I’d have not finished under my own steam. The puzzle in the other place was tricky too so quite a work out all round.


  39. Thanks to all of you for your comments – really appreciated – and thanks again to Ray T for the crossword.
    Just before I head off, soonish, for bed I thought I’d go a bit “border collie”. How long is it since we heard from Merusa? I do hope that she’s OK. And what about Paso Doble? Anyone? I imagine that there are still a few night owls still to comment – I’m not one so . . .
    Night night all and sleep well – :yawn:

  40. This probably won’t be read by anyone but I can’t log off without saying how much I am in awe of anyone who was able to disentangle these clues. And clever Kath not only completed the puzzle but then wrote hints and very good ones too. Wavelength? Not convinced but I will continue to try and am hoping that eventually Ray T puzzles will be within my grasp.
    Thank you Kath for the hints and Ray T for the huge challenge.

  41. This was way out of my league. I have read the help for 28a and still don’t get it. Mistrial? What? Corn equals mush? No, I was as out of my depth as an English test middle order batsman. An enjoyable and learning experience, nonetheless.

    1. Bad case (in court) mis-trial.
      Corny = mushy so corn=mush (over-sentimental, banal) HTH

  42. Completely forgot it might be a RayT day.
    Found it quite tricky too and 18 19a remained without answers for quite a while.
    Perseverance paid off and managed to complete.
    7d made me laugh and was rather taken by 17d. Thought the construction was very clever.
    15a favourite for its smoothness.
    Thanks to RayT and to Young RN Kath and a very happy belated birthday to Jane.

  43. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the review and hints. I enjoyed what I could do, but it was so difficult. I needed 9 hints to finish, and when I saw the answers, I would never have got any of them in a million years. Favourites were 9a&3d. Was 5*/3*for me.

  44. Probably no one will read this but I loved it and only needed a modicum of electronic help. Thanks Kath and happy belated birthday to Jane.

  45. Came back from London in the wee small hours too late to sign in. I didn’t find this easy for a RayT, in fact I didn’t get off the ground until I checked the answer for 1a and 1d, so thank you very much for the review Kath, and thank you RayT for the challenge.

  46. This took me several sessions and is only just completed. Ray and I don’t usually see eye to eye and this was no exception. Some crackers in among the fog, though, with 7d topping the charts. Ta to Kath, belated happy birthday to Jane and see you in a fortnight Ray. 4*/3*

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