DT 28232 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28232

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28232

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hello everyone. This is definitely a Ray T crossword. It has all his trademarks – short clues, a bit of innuendo, although not as much as there is sometimes, a reference to the Queen and all one word clues and answers in the quick crossword. I didn’t think it was as tricky as his crosswords can be – the three star difficulty bit is for those of you who find his style hard to cope with.

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

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


1a            Cold tea almost pleasant during breakfast, say (10)
MECHANICAL — You need a four letter word for something of which breakfast is just an example (say) – inside that word (during) you put an alternative for tea and a synonym for pleasant without its last letter (almost).

6a            Detective’s heading for criminal record (4)
DISC — A two letter abbreviation for a senior detective, with the ‘S, is followed by the first letter (heading for) of C(riminal).


9a            Deck ratings facing dock (5)
ORLOP — Begin with the two letters for members of the armed forces not holding commissions and follow them with a word meaning dock or chop off.


10a         Possibly do a rating to find this? (9)
GRADATION — An anagram (possibly) of DO A RATING. . .

12a         Amazingly Herculean lacking that man’s kind of power (7)
NUCLEAR — . . . and close on the heels of that one comes another anagram (amazingly) of HERCULIAN without the first two letters (lacking that man).

13a         Power rise certain to consume gallons (5)
SURGE — Certain or positive contains the abbreviation for G(allons).

15a         Exorbitant game’s number one streetwise talent (7)
RUINOUS— The two letter abbreviation for one of the many sports that I don’t understand – not cricket, or football or golf but Rugby Union – is followed by the letter that looks like a Roman numeral for one and then finish off with a word meaning streetwise talent or just general common sense.

17a         Polite behaviour heard in country houses (7)
MANNERS — A homophone (heard) – some large and flashy country houses sound like polite behaviour or general social graces.


19a         Most mysterious bug seen by river (7)
DEEPEST — A bug – not a germ but a nuisance – is followed by (seen by) a river – a Scottish one or one in North Wales, take your pick as it doesn’t matter which.

21a         Master’s expert teacher on ancient kingdom (7)
MACEDON — Begin with the one letter abbreviation for M(aster), then one of our usual crosswordland experts, and finish off with a university teacher.


22a         Bone’s top part rotating (5)
TIBIA — The letter and number denoting top class and a part or small piece of something is all reversed (rotating) to give you one of the two bones in your lower leg.

24a         Demure gal I allow to purchase special dress (7)
REGALIA — Our first lurker or hidden answer of the day – this special or ceremonial dress is hidden in the first to fourth words of the clue.

27a         Dancer from dance scene for the audience (9)
BALLERINA — A formal dance is followed by a homophone (for the audience) of a scene or stage.


28a         Lifted lady’s garment (5)
STOLE — A double definition, the first one meaning lifted as in pinched and the second being a piece of women’s clothing worn around the shoulders.

29a         Former husband with a male inspection (4)
EXAM — The usual two letters for a former anything – husband, wife or any other partner – are followed by (with) the A from the clue and the abbreviation for M(ale).

30a         Explicit nude — reckons to lose £1,000 for alteration (10)
UNCENSORED — An anagram (for alteration) of NUDE RECKONS without the K – (to lose £1,000).



1d            Fortune raised creates bad feeling (4)
MOOD — A reversal (raised) of a word meaning fortune or destiny.


2d            Plant planted in choice land in England (9)
CELANDINE — Our second lurker (planted in) – this plant is hidden in the last four words of the clue.


3d            Like good cold jelly? (5)
ASPIC — The usual two letter conjunction meaning like or in the same way, an abbreviation meaning good or smug and self-righteous and then the one letter for C(old.

4d            Painter beginning to stucco entrance (7)
INGRESS — A French artist is followed by the first letter (beginning to) of S(tucco). If you aren’t familiar with this painter he’s worth remembering as he does turn up from time to time.

5d            Sheet is one of these (7)
ANAGRAM — I usually hesitate to say what kind of clue something is as I’m not sure enough of my ground but I think this is an all in one clue – whatever it is it took me ages and was one of my last answers.

7d            Riskier losing head getting more hostile (5)
ICIER — Begin with a word meaning riskier or of a less certain outcome and remove its first letter (losing head).

8d            Familiar rascal oddly hiding in nunnery (10)
CONVERSANT — The first, third and fifth letters of rascal (oddly) are inside (hiding in) a nunnery or priory.

11d         Poison scare in stews (7)
ARSENIC — An anagram (stews) of SCARE IN.

14d         Honourable guy has tried changing inside (10)
CREDITABLE — The ‘guy’ here is not a chap or a verb meaning to tease but a cord or a rope to stop your tent blowing away (hopefully, and if you’ve done it properly) – inside that word is an anagram (changing) of TRIED

16d         Dismay of lover a website exposed (7)
OVERAWE — Our third and final lurker of the day indicated by exposed or without its outside letters – it’s hiding in the middle of the third to fifth words of the clue. We seem to have had rather more than our fair share of these little beasts today.

18d         Labour always reportedly below target (9)
ENDEAVOUR — A homophone (reportedly) of a word meaning always or constantly is preceded by (below) a target or objective.

20d         Intro’s changed round opening of Oliver Twist (7)
TORSION — An anagram (changed) of INTRO’S contains the first letter (opening) of O(liver). The false capitalisation of ‘Twist’ was a bit sneaky.

21d         Good speed following motorway journey (7)
MIGRATE — Begin with the motorway that goes from London to the north and follow that with the abbreviation for G(ood) then finish off with a word meaning speed or velocity – using that word in the same sentence as that particular motorway doesn’t seem quite right to me!

23d         A block turned in wood (5)
BALSA — The A from the clue and a block or a chunk of something is all reversed (turned).


25d         Many seeing love replaced by useless cravings (5)
LUSTS — A word meaning many or a very great number – take out the letter that looks like a zero and instead put in two letters which are an abbreviation for useless or unserviceable (love replaced by useless).

26d         Take in text showing rising Queen hype (4)
READ — A reversal (rising) of the two letters for our Queen is followed by an abbreviation for hype or publicity.

I liked 1 and 12a and 5 and 8d. My favourite was 28a.

I think it was pommers who said recently that Ray T crosswords don’t really lend themselves to interesting pics – I agree with him.

The Quickie Pun:- BREAK + SIT = BREXIT


95 comments on “DT 28232

  1. 2.5*/4*. Excellent! This was a very enjoyable challenge with all Ray T’s usual hallmarks. The NW was last corner to fall, with 5d my last one in and favourite. Before any pedants leap in to point out the error of my ways, I know 5d is not quite in the NW corner but they are inextricably linked …!

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

  2. For me, probably the trickiest puzzle for several weeks which was not helped by getting ‘bogged down’ in the SE corner over 18d and 30a. But the pennies finally dropped and the puzzle was completed reasonably comfortably before lights out last night.

    Three contenders for favourite – 14d and the aforementioned 18d and 30a – and the winner is 30a, even with all the head scratching it caused.

    I will concur with Kath’s ratings of ***/***.

    Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  3. So, an unusually straight forward solve for a Thursday, this week. No complaints from me today!

    2*/3* for a rating.

    I actually quite enjoyed this for a RayT!

    Thanks to all.

    1. Well said, George! That’s twice on the run you’ve complimented Ray T – have you been fully converted?

      1. It is not personal – I just don’t like crosswords that become a slog through Thesauri rather than the untangling of a clever clue. RayT sometimes seems to have a style that does not revolve around witty and clever clues in favour of the stretched synonym and obscure meanings of words. It is that style that I do not like as I do not find it pleasurable to solve. Whereas the style of Virgilius is so much more enjoyable because of his cleverness in creating clues.

        1. Hi George,

          You have expressed very eloquently my identical thoughts regarding RayT puzzles. They can be brilliant, but are much less enjoyable when the stretched synonyms are too evident. I used to think his self-imposed eight word clue limitation was one of the principal reasons for this (i.e. using a one word synonym instead of a phrasal definition for example), but today has proved that it is more of a personal choice by the setter instead.

        2. As a Ray T fan I don’t agree with all of those who talk about the overuse of stretched synonyms.
          Solving a cryptic crossword requires lateral thinking i.e. you don’t jump to conclusions.
          With a Ray T crossword you need to think laterally and then jump a bit more laterally.
          I remain his greatest fan which is why I count myself as very lucky that I have the pleasure of doing the hints for his crosswords as often as I do.

          1. Come on Kath it’s not a question of lateral thinking to sort clever clues which is required for RayT solving but, as George says, rather a straightforward use of far-fetched synonyms..

            1. Sorry, Angel, but I’m with Kath on this one. I will happily accept that some people don’t like Mr. T’s style but, for those of us who do, he’s an amazingly good setter.

            2. I don’t think that we should question Ray T’s use of English – he is English and teaches it in Paris.
              I suspect that his English is probably better than most of ours.

              1. I think that George’s post was meant as his opinion, not a criticism of RayT, he says that it is not his choice of favourite setter as he doesn’t like the style. I agree, but I’m the first to note that RayT is a brilliant setter, he’s just not my bag. There are too many clever solvers and bloggers who are way above my intellectual level who sing his praises. I like Virgilius and Rufus, many don’t!

          2. Well said, Kath. Ray T is by far the best back-page setter. His crosswords are a good challenge, a bit unconventional and often make you think long, deep and laterally. I usually take twice as long (sometimes thrice) to solve his compared to most other setters – and in my book that makes them more enjoyable. I don’t understand all this talk of “stretched synonyms” – this usually means that the solver has a limited vocabulary or can’t be bothered to do a little research in a thesaurus. I have a cupboard full of dictionaries and all sorts of other reference books – and I’m very happy to use them to help me solve a cryptic crossword. But, at the end of the day, it’s just horses for courses…

  4. I like to limber up in the morning with some synonym-stretching exercises. 3-*/2+*. Thanks to setter and Kath. You missed a photo opportunity at 18d, Kath.

  5. A very enjoyable crossword solve today. I’m not good at plants, so when I saw the 2d one was hidden it was a bit of a relief. I’ve seen the 4d French painter before. . Thanks to setter and hinter.

  6. I enjoyed this much more than today’s toughie. I think I like “one of these” most in 5d.

    Many thanks RayT and thank you Kath for a splendid review

  7. Just the right thing for a wet Thursday – even the weather has brightened now.
    Needed electronic help for 30a – then 5 minutes to parse it. It was COTD for me, with 5d close behind. Never heard of 9a.
    Thanks to the setter & Kath for hints. (Since Ray T “drops in” regularly perhaps he increased the lurker count deliberately to give you practice. Don’t get many with 9 letters either).
    Hope HIYD sees the Matt cartoon today

  8. Another brilliant RayT. It all came together satisfyingly, at a Goldilocks pace, until I hit a couple of snags in the NW (namely 9a – a word that was floating about in my brain without any definition attached and 2d – not even a backwards one and I still missed it). The “in” in 17a made me want country houses to be the definition, but I did hold off entering it. I’d forgotten the useless abbreviation in 25d, so that was a useful reminder.

    The illustrated 1d rings true. I appreciated the cheeky ones as always, especially the delightful 28a. 5d wins the clue of the day award.

    Many thanks to Kath and RayT. Excellent work both.

  9. Off-topic, early this morning the number of comments on this blog passed 222,222. I wanted to reply to the 222,221st (thereby making mine the 222,222nd) but sadly it wouldn’t have been appropriate. Such is life.

  10. A relatively gentle Ray T. Liked 10a and 5d. The painter was new to me, and it felt like we have seen something like 23d quite recently. Last in was 1d. Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  11. I would echo earlier sentiments about this Ray T puzzle. It was 2.5*/4* for me, with the wickedly clever 5 down my absolute favourite. A terrific mixture of clue types, with lovely surfaces and fair wordplay.

    Many thanks Ray and of course to Kath for her review.

    It was good to see Shropshire Lad visit late last night. I sincerely hope things improve for him.

    1. Thanks for letting us know about the comment from SL, so that we could send him some words of encouragement.

  12. For me it was the SW that gave me the most problems. 25,26d and 28a were the last to fall after much thoughts.
    Hesitated a lot with 1d. Couldn’t understand why mood should be bad necessarily although doom is most certainly bad fortune.
    Favourite 5d.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath for the wonderful review.

  13. A **/*** for me, didn’t help when I started with 1d upside down ! and the definition eluded me for a while. Strait forward after this hiccup, glad I remembered the deck, only ever seen it in crosswords.
    I was on Mr T’s wavelength on the parsing front, queried ‘ad’ for hype but Kath thinks it’s all right, so must be.
    Glad the puzzle found general approval as it definitely had a ‘spark’

  14. Managed al,ost all of this without electronic aids or hints, so feel I am continuing to progress….even if the experts here think it was an easier Thursday offering.

    Have to agree with many that 5d was a great clue…when the penny dropped it really made me smile.

    Thanks to the setter and to Kath for the hints.

  15. Another great puzzle from the master in which we were treated to 3 hidden words. These helped me get started on a most enjoyable trip through innuendo, lurkers and some really funny clues of which i liked 28 most as I am still giggling. Also liked 1a 2 3 4 5 1416 19 24 and 25. Thanks to RayT and to Kath.

  16. I dont think I am on the same wavelength as Ray T. i got stumped by the SW corner, just couldnt get 1a and for the life of me I dont understand 5d. I cant find a dictionary definition for 24a, regal = demure? Hopefully tomorrow will be more to my liking. Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath for her much needed help.

    1. pete – 5d ‘sheet’ is made up of the letters of ‘these’ so it is what the answer describes. 24a is simply, as stated by Kath, a ‘lurker’ so nothing to do with the meaning of or synonyms for demure.

    2. Pete,
      “Sheet” is an *n*gr*m ( “one”) of “these”. Brilliantly simple clue. As always Senf got there first

  17. It was me that said RayT puzzles are often lacking in photo opportunities and this one is a case in point. However, I was a bit surprised that there isn’t a piccy of Inspector Morse for 18d what with him being Kath’s favourite an’ all. :lol:

    A pleasant puzzle though and I’ll agree with Kath on the **/*** rating. Favourite was 5d, not my LOI but it did take a while for the penny to drop. Last in was 30a where the anagram stubbornly refused to unravel itself for quite some time.

    Thanks to RayT and to Kath.

  18. Interesting that 5d made a lot of us think! It certainly was my last in (and favourite) but only afterwards did I realise how the clue should have been parsed. Clever.
    Ray T was a little bit more gentle than usual I thought; dare I say it but surely even Brian should be Ok today!
    Anyway, 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to Ray T, and to Kath for her stonking review. (Spellcheck almost got me into serious trouble there…)

    1. Likewise me Wanda.
      This is a recurrent theme every other Thursday, and my admiration to anyone who could unravel this, as I certainly can’t.
      However luckily I have Kath to help me make sense of it, so many thanks and maybe I will get my head around Ray-T’s cluing style one day.

        1. I have not seen that one, as don’t have today’s paper.
          I liked the one yesterday about Allardyce leaving with a 100% record!!
          English football is a shambles, someone will have to explain the rules of rugby to me as I am rapidly loosing interest!!

          1. Today’s is a spectator shouting “Oi REF!!! You’re the only principled, decent man in the whole game.”

              1. I’ve only ever been to one football match, and the crowd seemed to think the ref was either self indulgent or of questionable parentage, or both. Never went again, obviously.

                They don’t do that in either snooker or chess matches, thankfully.

                1. It’s funny how you can’t win as a referee, one game last season finished 2-2, and as we walked off the pitch one of the blue players said “Ref, you gave us nothing today”, as I walked further on one of the red team said “Ref, you gave us nothing today”!!

                  1. Two very polite comments there, or were they paraphrased?
                    Nice to know you were even-handed.

  19. Dispatched this one with some ease while waiting to entertain power-cut afflicted Australians. For Ray, this one was something of a breeze. Along with others, I’ll plump for 5d as the cream of the crop. 2*/3* Thanks to Kath for her efforts and to Mr T

  20. One across was a bit of a stretch for cold to the answer, 7d was last in but I’d never heard of orlop? and OR for ratings was beyond me.

    1. BP – OR is a military abbreviation for ‘other ranks’ and it seems ‘orlop’ is another one of those words only invented for crosswords.

      1. The orlop deck of a 1800’s ship of the line was the bottom deck. It was below the waterline and the place where wounded crew were taken for the ship’s surgeon to try his best. Not a pretty thought.

  21. Just up my street! Another cracker from Ray T – though not as difficult as his norm, he’s head and shoulders above the rest even with an average one (but I am biased of course). I made it more difficult for myself by bunging “columbine” in early for 2d and my mistake was prolonged because it fits all the 5 checkers except one (12a). 14d was my favourite clue. 2.5*/4*

  22. Interesting to see the divided opinions between those who thought it was Mr. Terrell at his most benign and others who found it fairly tricky. I’m in the latter camp, the NW corner took the longest to yield. A very satisfying solve overall.

    The master of the “lurker” gave us some fine examples today and there was a healthy supply of homophones too, which are always to my taste. I’m with the majority it seems in casting my favourite vote for 5d.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Kath.

    P.S. Thanks too to Young Salopian for mentioning that SL left a comment late last night under yesterday’s puzzle, otherwise it probably wouldn’t have been widely known. It is certainly good to hear from him.

  23. After a few weeks rest from Ray T I returned to find that I am still addle-pated when it comes to solving but thanks to the super-toy between us we have struggled valiantly to the end. Thanks to Mr T and Kath, off to lie down with ice pack on head. :phew:

    1. “addle-pated” is a new word for me, so thanks for that Hilary Annie.

      Quite an easy RayT today … my favourite as many others have already said was 5d.

      I wonder if we will ever see this in a Beam?

      Thanks to Kath for the review.

  24. I struggled , sweated, but failed to complete without hints.So I can’t say I enjoyed the experience.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  25. Thought this might prove to be something of a challenge as I had to solve it without any potential for recourse to the BRB or Mr. Google, so I was quite surprised – and extremely proud – to get everything filled in and parsed.
    Thanks to previous puzzles, I remembered the deck and the artist but I hadn’t come across that spelling of 21a before today – I wanted ‘IA’ on the end of it!
    Thought 16d was a well hidden lurker but my top three places go to 22a plus 3&5d. The laurel wreath goes to 5d.

    The usual devotions to Mr. T and many thanks to Kath. Loved the 17a cartoon and the 1d quotation but, like others, I was amazed that you resisted putting in a pic for 18d. No doubt you did that on purpose, knowing that we would all be expecting one!

    1. I know what you mean from my recent time in your neck of the woods – much more challenging, but also more satisfying.

      Couldn’t even get a radio signal, never mind a dictionary or t’interweb. A very calming experience.

  26. Before anyone else comments on my resisting a piccy for 18d I’ll just explain my logic, such as it is. Firstly I’m really not sure that everyone would know Morse’s christian name and, secondly, I’d hate to be seen as predictable.

    1. Thanks to your input in the past, I think most of us now know Mr. Morse’s first name! I still maintain that your second assertion was closer to the mark!

    2. Thanks Kath for your thoughtfulness – I certainly don’t know Morse’s first name (“Christian name” now politically incorrect!) – Inspector?.

      1. Yes – but perhaps not everyone went on from watching Morse to watching Endeavour.
        I love all the old Morse stuff – oh dear – John Thaw always makes me :cry:
        I think that the young Morse – Shaun whoever is as perfect as anyone could be – his eyes are right so they make me :cry: again.

      2. No, some of us have never watched an episode of Morse let alone the Endeavour series – sorry BusyLuzzie.

        1. Oh dear – you just don’t know what you’ve missed – an amazing series – crime stuff if you like that – complicated plots – and, above all, the two best bits – Oxford and the wonderful John Thaw – and now look what you’ve done :cry:
          Seriously now – do watch some of them. :smile:

  27. A thoroughly enjoyable solve that took me roughly the amount of time I’d expect for a RayT creation.

    Thanks to Kath and setter **/****

  28. I couldn’t finish three clues in the SW corner (nothing surprising in that) and needed Kath’s hints to help me out.
    I knew the deck which has featured in several crosswords in the past.
    I googled 21a and found that, indeed, it didn’t have “ia” in ancient days.
    There were two that I really liked, 28a and 5d, but I think 28a took the top spot.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath, particularly for helping me out in the end.

  29. 5d took much longer for the penny to drop than it should have, and then we found one of our favourite words in all the world in 9a, so plenty to keep us happy. Good fun from start to finish for us and we did check the word count as usual and can report that 8 words is the maximum.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  30. Well, we finished this in 2.5* time and when we looked back at we couldn’t see why. Also, contrary to most other posts above, we didn’t enjoy it as much as we usually would a Ray T, so just 2* for enjoyment.

    Still don’t understand the second part of 27a, so clearly having a thick day.

    Thanks to Kath and Ray T.

      1. Well, I guess it does so thank you, but it feels like a stretch – to us they start with different vowels sounds, one as in urge and one as in array.

  31. Good evening everybody.

    A joint effort today and despite a steady start we found this difficult to complete. Ultimately solving 28a enabled us to round up the stragglers but by then we were close to being timed out .

    I should point out that my partner was consulting a computer for ‘help’ with some clues.


  32. Can usually only get about half way there on Ray T days, so thanks to Kath or I would not have finished. Like many others, 5d was last in, just didn’t get the clue which is so obvious once you read the hint. 9a and 4d painter were new for me, so a bit more knowledge gained. Some I solved but was not confident enough to put in, but found they were right after all. 27 was favorite.

  33. **/*** for difficulty sounds about right. 14d and 5d were my last in – no matter how many times I see the latter done, it never fails to bamboozle me. On the other hand, after too many years I’ve finally managed to remember the two letter abbreviation for useless. There’s hope yet.

  34. I do find Ray T puzzles difficult but was heartened this time by feeling able to grapple with it and must have solved about three quarters before resorting to Kath’s hints. And then I solved some more. So progress is being made, thanks to this blog. It has made cryptics so much more meaningful and enjoyable for me.
    Thanks to Kath and the setter.

  35. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the review and hints. I enjoyed what I could do, but it was too tough for me. Needed the hints for 1,9,15,1930a and 2,4,5,26d. Still don’t get 5d. Was 5*/2* for me. Had never heard of 9a&2d.

  36. Pretty testing for a back-pager, but l scrambled home before the 3* bell, so call I 2*/3.5*. 1a gets my vote for top clue, but as a Naval man (and, more importantly in this context, a devotee of Patrick O’Bryan’s Aubrey/Maturin stories) I appreciated 9a too. Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  37. Between now, just after 11.00pm, and 6.00am tomorrow I have to, in no particular order as they say, have some sleep, have a shower and get myself to Heathrow airport to meet my oldest and best ever friend who arrives from Australia just after 5.00am so, on that happy note, I wish you all a good night’s sleep – thank you for the comments and ‘see’ you all tomorrow.
    Night night :yawn: but also :smile: as I’m very excited to be meeting my friend.

  38. Just popped in again to say that I shall be away for a week or so as I have to go to New York. Hooray!
    PS I refer the honourable members chatting earlier to the works of Anthony Buckeridge, creator of the schoolboy world of Jennings for addle-pated clopdpolls. There’s one on every page.

  39. Found this a tricky crossword. Have to confess not knowing the word ‘orlop’, so having the o l p didn’t help. And completely missed 5d! I’m putting brain deadness down to being poorly this week.

    1. Hi DL
      Sorry you have been under the weather (strange term when you think about it). Hope the fact you are solving again means you are “on the mend”.

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