DT 28225 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28225

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28225

Hints and tips by KiwiColin

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***


Kia ora from down-under. Last week we talked about viewing a distant mountain. Today’s story is a complete contrast. We were away last weekend at Ohakune with family who had hired a house so they could go skiing again on Mt Ruapehu. The weather could best be described as ‘sub-optimal’. We did however drive up the access road to the carpark for the Turoa Ski Field. Even from there we could not see the mountain we were on and five minutes out of the car made the prospect of hot coffee and chocolate eclairs in front of a log fire an attractive option. Nonetheless, an enjoyable couple of days with grandkids.
Still no ducklings to report
A solo effort once again on today’s Jay puzzle.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Racing driver with puncture making corner (10)
BUTTONHOLE: Corner is a verb. An English F1 driver and a puncture or place in a tyre where the air could leak out.

6a     Chief from eastern border going the other way (4)
EMIR: The abbreviation for eastern and then reverse a synonym for a border or edge.

10a     Humours daughter during lows (5)
MOODS: The abbreviation for daughter is inside the noises that cows make.

11a     No Conservative switches on the radio for such pieces of music (9)
NOCTURNES: NO from the clue, the abbreviation for Conservative and a homophone (on the radio) for a word meaning switches or changes direction.

12a     Singer so professional must welcome article (7)
SOPRANO: SO from the clue, the three letters that signify professional with the two letter indefinite article included.

13a     Pretend to be discerning? (4,3)
MAKE OUT: Double definition. The second as in  recognising or distinguishing.

14a     Music producer secure in sleeping around (12)
GLOCKENSPIEL: A word meaning to make secure is inside an anagram (around) of SLEEPING.

18a     Small and enchanting woman has meals for centres of communication (12)
SWITCH BOARDS: The abbreviation for small, a woman who casts spells as encountered in Macbeth, and meals. (Meals is a plural form of the word from the phrase ‘xxxxx and lodgings’.)

21a     Formula 1’s certain split (7)
FISSURE: The short form of saying Formula 1, the ‘S from the clue and a word for certain.

23a     Excited, secures the high ground (7)
UPLANDS: A two letter word for excited and ‘secures’ as a fisherman might with his catch.

24a     Appear hurt, but hurry up (4,5)
LOOK SMART: A word meaning appear and one for hurt or feel pain. Beware the other option for the second word. It will give you problems with 15d if you do what I initially did.

25a     Good competition is a blessing (5)
GRACE: The abbreviation for good and a competition that could be associated with the wordplay for both 1a and 21a.

26a     The positive aspect of many Anglicans (4)
YANG: A lurker that is hiding in the last two words of the clue.

27a     Brides test new homes (10)
BEDSITTERS: An anagram (new) of BRIDES TEST.


1d     Puzzle of rising total collected by worker (6)
BEMUSE: A worker insect surrounds the reversal of a word for a total.

2d     Soldiers needing oxygen in exercise from the south (6)
TROOPS: The chemical symbol for oxygen is inside the reversal (from the south) of a word for exercise or games.

3d      Barriers make this part of meal a challenge? (8,6)
OBSTACLE COURSE: Barriers or a hindrance and then one of the sections of a meal.

4d     Vehicle for ordering bacon and mash? (6,3)
HANSOM CAB: An anagram (for ordering) of BACON and MASH.


5d     Look at copper — married doctor (5)
LOCUM: A two letter word for look, the chemical symbol for copper and the abbreviation for married.

7d     Chap mainly performing outside left instrument (8)
MANDOLIN: A synonym for a chap, then a word that means performing or taking action loses its last letter but includes the letter signifying left.

8d     About to pay and move house (8)
RESETTLE: The two letters that mean about or concerning, and to pay an account in full.

9d     Sweet kid thus lighter? Unlikely (7,7)
TURKISH DELIGHT: An anagram (unlikely) of KID THUS LIGHTER.

15d     Assesses, and leaves upset about letter from Greece turning up (9)
EVALUATES: the nineteenth letter of the Greek alphabet is reversed inside an anagram (upset) of LEAVES.

16d     Part of house full yesterday, conveniently (8)
USEFULLY : Our second lurker of the day, this time in the third, fourth and fifth words of the clue.

17d     Limits matches with county (4,4)
TIES DOWN: A word for matches or contests and a county in Northern Ireland.

19d     Close friend must drop note for warder’s charge (6)
INMATE: Find a word for a close friend and remove one of the notes of the tonic sol-fa scale from inside it.

20d     Items of some worth, in the form of radios (6)
ASSETS : A short word that means ‘in the form of’ and what radios or TVs are often called.

22d     Cancel Times before starting Express (5)
ERASE : The first letter of express follows a word for long times or ages.

The answer for 14a is such a wonderful word to say and roll around one’s tongue that it gets number one vote today.

Quickie pun     seethe    +     whirled    =    see the world


77 comments on “DT 28225

  1. Completed comfortably before lights out last night – **/** for me, but I did need to check a couple of answers using today’s hints.

    Favourite a toss up between 14a and 3d, but I do like clues that are a mix of cryptic and anagram so 14a gets the gold.

    Thanks to Jay and KiwiColin.

  2. 1*/2.5*. Was this really a Jay puzzle? I found it unusually easy for a Wednesday – virtually R&W, and, although quite enjoyable, somewhat lacking in his usual zest.

    I did really like 14a, which is a great clue and a lovely answer. It was my favourite today.

    Many thanks to Jay and 1K.

  3. enjoyable puzzle, I thought

    I liked 1a (surface), 10a (surface), 11a (switches on the radio) 14a (surface and ‘sleeping around’ ) 26a (nice word) and 27a (good simple surface), and more.

    Many thanks Jay and 2Kiwis

  4. I found this to be a Jay-lite production, but nonetheless enjoyable. I liked 1a for its smooth surface reading. I must get some 9d. Thanks to Jay and solo flying Kiwi.

  5. Very enjoyable, especially as I managed it without hints for once! 14a best for me too. Thanks to setter and to KC for pictures.

  6. For a change a genuine R & W, nevertheless some excellent surface readings -1a /13a for instance, so a */*** for me today.
    Thanks to Kiwi Colin for the pics, 7d reminded me of the time I visited Kefalonia and on a ‘cruise’ the villa which Nicholas Cage stayed in was pointed out to me by the boat captain- got the distinct impression he as not very popular with the locals.

  7. **/***. I did wonder about 3d as Barriers is plural and so I interpreted that as the definition – the answer having many Barriers in it. Liked 1a and 14a. 24a was last in – just couldn’t think of the second word having dismissed the other one.
    Thanks all.

  8. Thanks to Jay and to Kiwi Colin for the review and hints. I got the second word of 24a wrong. So was totally stuck. Needed the hints for 14,24,25a and 7,15,19d. Very difficult. Was 4*/3* for me.

  9. Very enjoyable puzzle, a good mix of clues. Favourites 14a and 3d. 3*/3.5* Many thanks to Jay and to KiwiColin

  10. Excellent wednesday puzzle. I too got the second word of 24a wrong until I got a few more letter in 15d to show me the error my ways. its a **/***. Even if I did try to put BETROTHALS in as 1a. Doh

  11. What a beautiful day to celebrate the end of summer. Shorts and T-shirts are de rigueur down here.
    A bit held up thinking 1a was pigeonhole and spend some time with the first word in 17d.
    Thanks to Jay and to Colin for the review.

  12. I am a big fan of Jay’s crosswords as they seem to chime with me.
    After a few days of annoyingly falling 2 or 3 short and needing a hint or two, this went in with no help. I would like to think I am getting better, but no doubt I will get my comeuppance tomorrow.
    Last word in was the first part of 17d, that had me scratching my loaf, but my favourite was 1a, not that I know anything about F1, but I do know Jenson B, as the girls round here all swoon over him.
    Thanks to Colin and to Jay….

    1. Me too with last word of 17d and when I sought help elsewhere a rather rude term for raining came up!

  13. Like others before me, I thought this was a very benign Jay puzzle. Is it really Wednesday? 14 across easily my pick of the day, and 1.5*/3* overall.

    Thanks very much to the solitary Kiwi and Jay.

  14. Pleasant solve with some nice clues. 14a my COTD too.
    3d: not sure about using barriers to indicate a singular: could have been misleading if the answer hadn’t been so obvious.
    Thanks to setter &1K Colin for hints esp. to explain my 19d bung-in.

  15. Have all the setters been instructed to ease back on the difficulty levels this week? A fine puzzle from Jay but, like todays Toughie, over far too quickly. I always feel exhilarated when the first across clue goes in at the first pass and I was very happy with the 1a clue – mind, if Jay had waited for next season before airing that clue I don’t think it would have worked.

    So 1a is up there with the favourites along with 14a (sure I’ve seen it somewhere before) for the smile it brought to my lips. Having said that – I see he’s stolen one of my crossword answers at 19d – his probably reads better though.

    Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and to KiwiC for his review.

  16. Where is the reference to the noise cows make in 10a?

    Much preferred Monday & Tuesday’s puzzles

      1. As the farmer said when the sick cow lowed that’s moosic to my ears. Sorry, as bad as SL’s Kilmarnock joke, on second thoughts it’s worse.

        1. Glad you added on the ‘on second thoughts’ LROK. Might have had to come and have words with you :whistle:

          Anyhow, there’s nothing wrong with that joke – it has stood me in good stead over many long years.

          I have three others in my repertoire, an Irish joke involving wellingtons, a pre decimal coinage joke about sex and a final joke about a logical scientist. I am a barrel of fun at get togethers – I get the partygoers going – normally out of the door :cool:

  17. Pleasant enough but over far too soon. 11a was my favourite. 1.5/2.5 overall.
    Thanks to Jay, and to KC for the review.

  18. Nice crossword but needed the hints to sort out 11a and 19a (which I still don’t understand – close friend=mate but why IN, where does the tonic scale fit in?)
    Must say I did think that perhaps the setter was taking the mickey with 14a.
    Thx to all

    1. You need another word for close friend which starts with IN then has a musical note and then the mate bit. Take away the note and …

  19. I agree this was fairly straightforward for a Jay but I’d never call anything a read and write as something always holds me up.
    I only know the 1a racing driver because when I was staying with Elder Lamb a couple of weeks ago her neighbour’s cat was around and I asked her what he was called. When she told me he was called Button I said that was a funny name for a cat – she said that it wasn’t particularly funny once you know that his brother is called Jenson.
    Anyway – on to the crossword . . .
    I didn’t fall into the 24a as the wrong second word didn’t really seem to work.
    My really, really stupid mistake was bunging in ‘birds nests’ for 27a – oh dear.
    I don’t think that 5d has to be a doctor.
    Working out why 15d was right was absolutely fine once I realised that the letter from Greece wasn’t eta.
    I liked 1 and 11a and 7d. My favourite was 14a even if I can’t spell it without looking it up.
    With thanks to Jay and to the Lonely Kiwi.

    1. I always find it’s sad when people who have 2 pets link their names – especially when one of them dies. Names like Humpty & Dumpty, Hip & Hop, Helter & Shelter, Marks & Spencer – you get the drift :whistle:

      1. We used to know a vicar who had two cats he named Sodom and Gomorrah. If the latter was in, apparently the cleric would stand at the vicarage door yelling for the other one. Very unpriestly.

      2. Our two cats didn’t have linked names, but they were terribly English names, Rupert and Basil. Latter was picked so we could shout it out like Sybil Fawlty…. American veterinarian insisted on calling him “Baysil” of course. Basil only made it to 12 years, but Rupert (after Rupert Bear) is almost 16 and definitely the boss of us.

    2. Oh I wanted to put in birds nests for the longest time, and once something gets stuck in my mind it is so hard to go down a different road…

  20. Pleasant solve with a couple of answers needing me to backtrack – yes, I bunged in the wrong second word in 24a and foolishly misspelt the first word in 4d in my haste. Favourite was 14a. Thanks to all.

  21. Not R&W for me, but very enjoyable. I don’t know anything about racing drivers, but 1a couldn’t be anything else.
    I put the wrong second word in 24a, yes KC, and it seems I have good company.
    I, too, will choose 14a, it just runs off the tongue, doesn’t it.
    Thanks to Jay and to KiwiColin, especially for explaining 19d.

  22. Somewhere in all people’s responses someone may have pointed out that the picture for 14across is not a glockenspiel but a xylophone or even a marimba. No metal bars!

    1. Thanks for pointing that out David. I trusted Google images and should have looked further.
      I postponed my breakfast so I could replace the pic it with a correct one.
      Welcome to the blog.

  23. Add me to the list of people who put the wrong second word in for 24a….otherwise managed OK but took me ages.

    Thanks to the setter and to KiwiColin

      1. Jane I think it’s “clue” and if like me Geoff uses an iPad it’s easy to get the next letter to the one you wanted.

  24. Great fun, nice to finish without hints but they certainly helped to understand a couple of clues. 14a is such a great word. 10a made me chuckle as I recently accused Mrs KK of having the humours and she thought I was being complimentary, before I realised the danger such a comment could put me in.

    Thanks again to all for blog and comment, always a highlight of a train journey.

  25. Right, Now that I have corrected my picture for 14a where a new commenter David K, pointed out that my choice was incorrect, and finished my muesli and toast, it is time to wish everyone a Good Morning. It looks like we will get another fine spring day here with the sun just rising into a clear sky so looks like Thursday golf is going to be in the programme. Cheers.

  26. Late in again today but this one was almost R&W – only hesitations being a touch of sport-blindness over the first word of 17d and something of a dither over the second word of 24a. I’m far more familiar with the ‘other’ ending of the latter and had to think about it for a while.
    I see that our pantomime character of yesterday changed his profession for today’s puzzle!
    Favourite was 14a – lovely word and enough checkers that I didn’t need to consult the BRB for the spelling!

    Thanks to Jay and also to our lonesome Kiwi – hope you didn’t lose your other half on the mountain?

  27. About ** for difficulty sounds right for a good, enjoyable mid-week puzzle. LOI 3d where, despite realising we weren’t looking for something food related, it still took an age for the penny to drop.

  28. Back to solving alone :( I found this fairly straightforward once I realized that I too had the wrong second word in 24a. I liked 23a because I’m posting from on high at 40,000 ft, and 9d because my bag contains some (chocolate coated from Marks and Spencer. Yum.)

    Thanks to Jay and to KiwiColin

  29. Posting from a considerably lower position than the previous commenter :(.

    This was a light and fluffy accompaniment to a breakfast of everything left in the fridge (not so light or fluffy but even more delicious). I was too busy stuffing my face to note down any favourites, but enjoyed myself. Thanks to Jay and Colin.

  30. Came to this late after splendid day in Oxford (hello Kath!) with NADFAS including visits to Christ Church College/Chapel, Bodleian Library, Ashmolean and Piano/Oboe Recital in Hertford College Chapel. LHS OK but most of RHS only possible after couple of glasses of grape juice with dinner. 25a and 19d eluded me so sought 1K help – TVM for that. As for others, 14a was stand-out favourite. Thank you Jay. ***/***.

  31. At first glance I thought this was going to be tough and my first across clue in was 12a. The bottom half was more successful and after a while it fell into place with relative ease.

    Like many others commenting, 14a was a standout favourite. The word for 11a felt new to me although I may have come across it in crosswordland before. I also liked 1a but using that word for ‘corners’ was not a familiar synonym. ‘Google definitions’ quickly confirmed the answer. Also like others, the first half of 17d was my last word in.

    Thanks again for the hints and comments. 6 months ago I wouldn’t have finished a crossword and it feels great to complete them solo. Unfortunately Mrs Longshanks has no patience for cryptic but occasionally will chip in with an answer based on pattern recognition or random guessing! It’s then my job to parse if I can

  32. This went in apace this morning and I thought I could get a comment in before trudging off to work. It was not to be as 18a was impossible after I put the wrong first word in 17d, so it had to await my return, when it all suddenly became obvious, as it usually does after a decent hiatus. As others have noted, 14a is a cracker, but I’m going for 18a as my man of the match. Thanks to the Kiwi flying solo again, and to Jay for the head scratching. 2*/3*

  33. This one was a little better than any of the previous 3, Sat – Tues inclusive. I thought 14a was a cracking clue. 2*/3*.

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