DT 28237 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28237

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28237

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****


Kia ora from Aotearoa. 
We have been living a rather nomadic existence lately with school holidays precipitating calls from Wellington for grandparents to do custodial duties. School resumes next week so things should be back to normal again then. We’re right into Spring conditions here, changeable and windy with everything growing like mad.
The usual good Wednesday fun from Jay.
Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Current group of pupils split by ability (6)
STREAM : Double definition. The second is a system used by some schools to assign pupils to classes.

5a     Refusal to acknowledge sweeper out of form (5-3)
BRUSH-OFF : An implement used as a sweeper and a short word meaning not on form.

9a     Undue rushing from rain, perhaps (13)
PRECIPITATION : As well as rain other examples could be snow or the answer to 7d.

10a     Butter up easily hurt cleaner (4-4)
SOFT-SOAP : Easily hurt or not hardened and a cleaner that is usually found as a cake in the bathroom.

11a     Eradicating right to go relaxing (6)
EASING : Take a word meaning eradicating or rubbing out and remove the abbreviation for right.

12a     Muggy day clinched the sale? (6)
CLOSED : A word used to describe muggy or humid and the abbreviation for day.

14a     Person easily convinced to hang around after knocking back drink (8)
PUSHOVER : Reverse a three letter word meaning to take a drink, and then to hang around as a helicopter might do.

16a     Identifies spot occupying listeners (8)
EARMARKS : Listeners or hearing organs surround a spot or blemish.

19a     The girl with new hat gets a cocktail dress (6)
SHEATH : A female personal pronoun followed by an anagram (new) of HAT.

21a     Fungal infection of right-winger backed by doctor (3,3)
DRY ROT : An abbreviation for a doctor and the reversal of a right wing political supporter.

23a     Weight of a vast rig at sea? (8)
GRAVITAS An anagram (at sea) of A VAST RIG.

25a     Suffering parental pariah has no time for such trappings (13)
PARAPHERNALIA : An anagram (suffering) of PARENtAL PARIAH after (T)ime has been removed.

26a     Unease rose, yet sent back to take in sights (8)
EYESORES : A reversed lurker hiding in the first three words of the clue.

27a     Do puzzle, heading off for daughter (6)
DIDDLE : A word for puzzle has its first letter removed and replaced with the abbreviation for daughter.


2d     Earth summits on fuel (7)
TOPSOIL : A word meaning summits or peaks and a type of fossil fuel.

3d     Highly skilled, but with no power to wield (5)
EXERT : The abbreviation for power is removed from inside a word meaning highly skilled.

4d     Type of purchase made by brotherhood, one hears (4,5)
MAIL ORDER : The answer sounds like a religious community where women are excluded.

5d     Music genre of Scot perhaps seen on American Dad (7)
BRITPOP : What a Scot or even a Welshman could be examples of, and an informal American word for a father.

6d     Custom in mounting Pegasus (5)
USAGE : A reversed lurker hiding in the last word of the clue.

7d     Salutes quality in a drop of the hard stuff? (9)
HAILSTONE : Salutes or calls a greeting and a synonym for quality.

8d     Intended to welcome new money (7)
FINANCE : A man intending to marry includes the abbreviation for new.

13d     Dark flower cut for such hats (9)
SOMBREROS : An adjective meaning dark or gloomy and then a common garden flower loses its last letter.

15d     Taken to court about smear and suffered (9)
SUSTAINED : A synonym for a smear is inside a word for taken to court to recover damages.

17d     How party without women sadly becomes degenerate (7)
ATROPHY : An anagram (sadly becomes) of HOw PARTY once the abbreviation for women has been removed.

18d     Handy people for getting the message across? (7)
SIGNERS : A cryptic definition of people who communicate without speech.

20d     Cut short attempt to be of help to Labour (7)
TRAVAIL : A three letter word for an attempt loses its last letter, and then a word meaning to be of help.

22d     Animal trap designed to hold one (5)
TAPIR : An anagram (designed) of TRAP which includes the Roman numeral one.

24d     Did nothing, but lied about pinching diamonds (5)
IDLED : An anagram (about) of LIED and the abbreviation for diamonds as a card suit.

Our favourite today is 7d.

Quickie pun    fore    +    sofa    +    bit    =    force of habit

68 comments on “DT 28237

  1. 2*/4*. Another lovely puzzle from Mr. Consistency! Not too tough but great fun.

    18a was my last one in, and 25a was my favourite – what a pig of a word to spell, let alone to use to create anagram fodder!

    I was hoping for a tasteful picture for 19a but I thought the one for 16a was more appealing.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks.

  2. I agree with the ratings, a lovely puzzle.
    I can’t quite decide between 5a and 14a as my favourite.
    Thanks Kiwis and Jay.

  3. Not often I get to post this early but I’m on my own today as pommette’s off to the UK on mother visiting duties. She’s currently 38000ft above Bordeaux on Ryanair FR4006 heading to Manchester.

    Whilst solving this on my return from the airport I thought it a tad trickier than recent Wednesdays but perhaps not. I did the puzzle on-line so for once I do know my time and it was marginally into ** so it seems first impressions were mistaken.
    Whatever, it’s the usual good stuff from the Wednesday Wizard and i’ll go for **/**** with 7d clear favourite for it’s amusing definition, drop of the hard stiuff indeed :lol:

    Thanks mutchly to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  4. Needed the hint for 27a…..was totally hung up on doddle…which I knew was wrong…..otherwise did OK with this one.

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis .

  5. Away for a few days, nice puzzle to come back not quite a write in for me 3D required some digging together with 17d so for me a moderate success.
    Thanks to 2kiwis and to Jay.

  6. Fell into the obvious trap at 1a by looking for a word for a group of pupils to go round one for ‘ability’. Definitely slowed down the NW corner. I also tried to justify ‘elect’ for 3d (almost worked!).
    10a raised a smile – reminded me of the hours spent trying to mollify the office cleaner in an attempt to stop her handing in her notice, something she threatened to do on a regular basis. Those ladies certainly wielded some power!

    Nice Wednesday puzzle with 7d coming out as my favourite.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks – what obliging grandparents you are, I hope you’re much appreciated.

  7. Excellent cluing today and some tricky parsing , which resulted in a most enjoyable solve.
    18d last in and assumed the obvious, but never actually heard the term applied before to this firm of communication.
    Agree with the 2k’s on a **/**** , 21a probably my favourite for the surface.

  8. Really enjoyed today’s offering, quite straight forward but some nice clues. My favourites were 7d, 8d and 13d. 2*/3.5* Many thanks to Ray and 2Kiwis.

  9. I started off very slowly and had to start from the bottom up. But once started it all flowed up quite well. I had to look up 5d which I had never heard of before out here! A bit baffled by 1a and 3d which were bung ins.

    So 2*/3* seems right for me.

  10. I found this to be an enjoyably comfortable solve which as I had very little time was a relief. Thanks to Jay & 2K’s.

  11. Needed a lot of electronic help to finish this one. It was often a case of finding a word that fits and trying to make sense of the clue. Missed the reverse lurker in6d (there did not appear to be any indication of a lurker in the clue), totally missed the explanation in 17d although my answer was correct and still don’t understand the use of ‘cocktail’ in19d. I can see a sheath is a dress but why cocktail?
    All in all I found this one quite tricky so ***/**.
    Thx to all.

        1. Rabbit Dave – I beg to differ! A 10a doesn’t have to be exclusively a dress only for cocktails but is the girl (she) plus an anagram (cocktail/new) of hat. OK perhaps you would say it does ‘t quite parse!

    1. Brian, you are obviously not into women’s clothing. The answer to 19a is a type of cocktail dress (refer to the BRB for the definition!)

      In 6d “in” is the lurker indicator!

      1. Having got an idea of Brian’s character from his comments over the years, I’m somewhat relieved to know that you think he isn’t obviously into women’s clothing :D

  12. Some really nice clues in a very pleasant solve.
    For 6d used the BD hypothesis. If you can’t see anything look for a lurker. “Mounting” suggested a reverse something to me.
    Thank you to the setter & 2Ks for the review. Agree with 7d as COTD.
    Fingers crossed for Merusa, Busy Lizzie & other FloridIan bloggers.

  13. The second meaning in 1a was new to me so was 27a.
    Tried to put “Pussycat” in 14a until that old chestnut in 8d was filled in.
    Favourite is 19a. Second time today that I choose a girly clue as favourite.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review. Love the picture for 16a too.

  14. Good fun today with SE holding out the longest mainly due to struggle with 27a. I think 22d is new to me as is 5d. Thanks Jay and 2Ks. ***/***.

  15. Good afternoon everybody.

    A few tricky ones to slow things down today. 19a I had to guess but the solution seemed clear enough from the clue. I’ve never heard a garment referred to as such.18d took a while to see why. 13d eluded me until the end but turned out to be straightforward. 3d took longer than it should have. 7d was a good clue.


  16. This was so hard to get into. The RHS presented no real problems, except for 5d, but I had the b*i* and I assumed the US dad was pop, so in it went.
    Oh, but I struggled with the LHS! I got the two long ones 9a and 25a, and I nearly gave up, but I revisited after finishing breakfast and it solved itself.
    My fave is 7d, but 14a was a smile clue as well.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis, another snapshot of NZ.

    My friends are coming to put my shutters up today, I dread it. The house will be like the Black Hole of Calcutta, but I’m going to leave the two small windows by the front door open so that I can see out! Now they are forecasting that this damned thing might make a U-turn and come back at us on Friday – whoever heard of a hurricane turning south? Watch this space!!

    1. P.S. I didn’t mean to waffle on like that. Bizzielizzie is going to be impacted much worse than I am, she is just that bit north of me.

      1. Shutters all up and lights are on! Bright sunshine, not a cloud in the sky – yet. The dogs and cats are all discombobulated and can’t figure out what to do with themselves. I’ve unearthed a huge power pack, now plugged into my recliner chair so that if I’m in the chair and the power goes out, I can at least get out of the chair.

      2. My turn to waffle 😊We have a daughter in Parkland and one in Boca, and a good friend further north in Windermere, so we all have everything crossed. Thank goodness for the accordion shutters which we had installed 2 weeks before Wilma and thankfully not needed to use since. Hopefully it will be like all those other times when we all get ready and it changes course. Does look like it is moving away from us right now. Stay safe Merusa.

        1. Thank you. The further north you go, the more danger you’re in. I have a good friend in Palm City who is coming down here! Another friend on Hutchinson Island is in England, so I hope someone can secure her flat.
          Godson, see gravatar, put accordion shutters on my house some time ago, they’re wonderful, and I keep them WD-40’d and gutters cleaned every year so they close so easily.
          I don’t mind putting shutters up and it moving away from us, that could be the best news, I don’t think it’s going to move far enough though.
          You stay safe as well. We’ve done all we can to prepare.

          1. It is weakening a bit thankfully; so good luck: sounds like you’re as prepared as you can be.

  17. Another excellent Jay puzzle, so far this week the standard on offer has been first rate.

    The only answer that caused a slight furrowing of the brows was 19a, as I was aware it has several meanings, but didn’t know that “cocktail dress” was one of them!

    I’ve ticked three clues, 10a, 8d and my overall favourite, 4d.

    Many thanks to Mr. Mutch and the 2Ks.

  18. I must be getting back into things after my recent blip, first Wednesday crossword I have done for several weeks but what a treat to come to. Managed to spell 25a after omitting a letter last time round, loved the reverse lurkers, last ones in 4d followed by 10a but favourite is 14a for no particular reason.

  19. ***/****. Very enjoyable but I found this more difficult than some.19a was a new meaning for me. thanks to all. I managed to flood the basement yesterday so the sound of industrial driers and dehumidifiers is driving me mad. Just another 3 days of this!

  20. Bit of a struggle today, but my minds not fully on it. Got there in the end though without help other than looking up a few answers i’d never heard of; eg 20d the last one in. I only new 22d due to many trips to the zoo over the last few years with grandchildren. 7d was my favourite.
    Thanks all.

  21. Good morning everyone. Up before dawn again to see what you have been saying about the puzzle while we have been asleep. When we were solving we made the comment that we would probably not be the only ones struggling with the spelling of 25a. Looks like we got that right.
    We have been following the news of the devastation for the poor people in Haiti and our thoughts are with those in SE USA who are next in the firing line.

    1. I would have put money on it being “-phenalia”: still think that second r is silent & therefore redundant. Odds & Sods is a lot easier anyway.

  22. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very well constructed puzzle, which I found quite straightforward until I got to the SW corner. I eventually whittled it down to leave 26a, which I thought was a backwards lurker, but somehow still couldn’t solve it. Also needed the hints for 3d. I laughed out loud with 7d, had a penny drop moment with 13d, but my favourite was 23a which is also a very nice beer. Was 2*/4* for me.

  23. Lovely puzzle with clues right on my wavelength from Jay. A great way to start the day, as we have been working non stop getting the house ready for Hurricane Mathew, mostly outside work, moving pots, furniture, etc. and readying the shutters for closing when/if it gets closer. It’s been 11 years since we last did this. Going to print up tomorrow’s puzzles late tonight in case we lose power tomorrow, and dig out the crossword books we keep as backup. We can always have a crossword fest 🤗

    1. Good idea! I’ll do the same. I’m juicing up my Kindle and iPad, though don’t know how much use the iPad will be as the WiFi will be out if the power cuts.

  24. How does Jay continually produce such superb puzzles??
    I found this tricky, yet persevered and finished without hints. Have a very contented look on my face, while the lady of the house is busy oggling Mr Hollywood on the GBBO.
    Last in was 10a…Favourite today was 25a
    A few comments…
    4a – Had ‘hire’ (as in ‘higher’ – ‘higher order’)as the first word of 4d, fortunately 9a was able to correct my mistake…plonker…
    20d – Why is ‘Labour’ capitalised?? Surely the answer of the clue to have put ‘Labour’ first, I think that was stretching it a bit.
    27a – I don’t see how the clue says put the ‘D’ of ‘Daughter’ first???
    Many thanks for that great team, 2xK and Jay…very enjoyable time spent solving…

    1. Surprised nobody came to the rescue yet.
      Blogger probably already out at this time.
      For the capitalisation in 20d you need to visit Elkamere’s blog on Friday.
      27a: The clue says to take the first letter off in a word for puzzle ( riddle) and replace it with the one for daughter.

    2. In 27a think the phrase “heading off for daughter” means put d in place of (for) heading letter.
      As always someone got there first.

    3. Whoops, not paying enough attention but JL came to the rescue.
      We agree that if the clue had been written with Labour as the first word there would still have been the misdirection without the the need for the false (but acceptable by the rules) capitalisation.

    4. HIYD. 20d: The definition Labour’s capitalisation is just misdirection to make you think that the answer has something to do with politics. If Labour appeared at the beginning the misdirection (false capitalisation) wouldn’t really work because most people would read it as meaning toil, work or, the answer, travail. That is the very reason the setter put it at the end of the clue.

  25. A lovely fun puzzle from the Wednesday wizard! Great stuff. I liked 5d best; not often this word appears in a crossword. 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to Jay, and the two K’s down under for their review.

  26. Completed this on the train this morning en route to Oxford for lunch. The usual excellence from Jay, not too demanding but great fun. Well done to him for the brillant 25 across anagram. 2*/4* overall with thanks all round.

  27. Another good, fairly straightforward Wednesday puzzle. No, I can’t spell 25ac, but got there in the end with a bit of trial and error. I believe I’ve seen a 22d, but needed all the checking letters to be sure I’d got it right, and then the vowels went in on a wing and a prayer. How long did it take to spot the hidden word? It was one of my last in, as ever…

  28. This was a lovely puzzle, at first very tough but once a few clues went in some answers became more obvious.

    I wasn’t aware of the first definition in 9a. For some reason I had ‘fiddle’ as the puzzle in 27a but that didn’t matter as the first letter was removed anyway. I needed the hint for only one clue – 18d, and as soon as I saw the picture I had a ‘d’oh!’ moment.

    I have put stars next to 5 and 9a; 5, 7, 8 and 13d. My favourite was 25a, such a pleasing word to say and can’t be an easy one to make into an anagram.

  29. Straightforward but enjoyable. Found today’s much easier than yesterday’s which was given * . 4D and 27A were favourites.

    1. Me too Karen, I found yesterday’s beyond me without hints.
      I didn’t think that it was straightforward though.

      1. Guess it’s the old wavelength thing. Maybe FM comes with perseverance, or old age, or too much spare time!

  30. Either 1 or 2* difficulty and, yes, 4* enjoyment. I enjoyed 14a and 4d, but 27a just gets the nod. Thanks to Jay, and to the Antipodean Duo.

  31. Another great Wednesday crossword. 7d is my favourite clue too. Love a quality drop of the hard stuff (but not falling on my head).

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    Stay safe Merusa, BL et al.

  32. Inexplicably, I found this one quite tricky – on a par with an average Ray T if judged by duration of solve. Quite challenging and very enjoyable. 2.5*/3.5*

  33. Last night I had a look and only got 25a and 24d. This morning I rattled through most of it. Thought superb cling. Spent agrees looking for the goat in 10a. It was the SE that held me up. I was trying to fit deduce into 27a but my last two in were 23a and 18d which came quickly once I had the “g”. I liked 21a for simplicity although admit I parsed it after I got it. Thanks Jay, 2Kiwis et al.

Comments are closed.