DT 28256 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28256

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28256

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone. Today’s crossword has put me into a bit of a dither. I was expecting it to be a Ray T and I’m not convinced that it is. It does have some of his trademarks – short clues, mostly, and an appearance by the Queen – but it doesn’t feel quite right somehow and the quick crossword has more than one word clues. Over to you – what do you all think?

In the hints below 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 what you thought and how you got on today.


1a            Rarest tuna prepared here? (10)
RESTAURANT — An anagram (prepared) of RAREST TUNA


6a            Actual kingdom miles away (4)
REAL — Just find another word for a kingdom or an empire and remove its final letter, an M – miles away.

9a            Stylish public transport should return (5)
SMART — A reversal (should return) of a public transport system that runs on roads in some big cities – they’re known as streetcars in North America.


10a         Change holiday: Conservative leaves for Rhode Island (9)
VARIATION — A holiday or leave of absence has the one letter abbreviation for C(onservative) taken out (leaves) and replaced with the abbreviation for R(hode) I(sland).

12a         Storm destroyed a party (7)
TORNADO — A word meaning destroyed or split is followed by the A from the clue and the usual two letter crosswordland party.


13a         Youngster with a large sum (5)
TOTAL — A youngster or toddler, the A from the clue and the abbreviation for L(arge).

15a         No iris develops without good roots (7)
ORIGINS — An anagram (develops) of NO IRIS which contains (without or outside) the abbreviation for G(ood).

17a         Standing where everyone’s coming or going? (7)
STATION — I think this is probably a double definition. The standing or status of someone is also a place where people are getting on or off trains.


19a         Recommend us eggs — scrambled — with last bit of toast (7)
SUGGEST — An anagram (scrambled) of US EGGS followed by (with) the last letter of (toas)T

21a         One appears on stage in clubs — first, a bit of ‘Hair’ (7)
ACTRESS — The one letter abbreviation for C(lubs) is preceded by (first) the A from the clue and then followed by a lock of hair.

22a         Studies English? Foolish (5)
DENSE — A noun meaning studies or studios is followed by E(nglish)

24a         Expose United Nations fellow corrupt at heart (7)
UNCOVER — The abbreviation for the U(nited) N(ations) is followed by an Australian informal or old British slang word for a fellow, or chap, and then the middle letter (at heart) of corRupt.

27a         Remember seeing roc in flight (9)
RECOGNISE — An anagram (in flight) of SEEING ROC

28a         Describe Liberal’s lengthened speech (5)
DRAWL — A word meaning describe or illustrate is followed by the one letter abbreviation for L(iberal).

29a         Challenge: some demand a recount (4)
DARE — Our one and only lurker or hidden answer – it’s in the last few words of the clue.

30a         Paper, for instance, that’s still read aloud (10)
STATIONERY — Paper is just an example of this, indicated by for instance – it’s a homophone (read aloud) of a word meaning still or not moving.




1d            Danger — quick to remove bishop (4)
RISK — A word meaning quick, energetic or bustling has its first letter, a B, removed (to remove Bishop).

2d            Flier about temperature being extraordinary (9)
STARTLING — A common bird (flier) contains (about) the one letter abbreviation for T(emperature).

3d            Table for the masses? (5)
ALTAR — The masses here are church services.


4d            Shows meat — about to go ahead with seconds (7)
REVEALS — Some meat from a young cow is preceded by (to go ahead) a short word meaning about or concerning and followed by S(econds).

5d            Common sense to ring the Queen, very anxious (7)
NERVOUS — A word meaning common sense or intellect contains (to ring) the regnal cipher for our Queen and V(ery).


7d            Former lover put on one stone to stay alive (5)
EXIST — The usual two letters for a former or earlier lover or partner is followed by (put on) the letter that looks like the Roman numeral for one and the two letter abbreviation for stone, as in weight.

8d            Exotic illness? One’s held in isolation (10)
LONELINESS — An anagram (exotic) of ILLNESS which contains (held in) the ‘one’ from the clue.

11d         Draw a tiger’s head on paper (7)
ATTRACT — The A from the clue and the first letter (head) of T(iger) is followed by a paper or essay.

14d         Team embarrassed after prisoner is judged (10)
CONSIDERED — The usual crosswordland prisoner or convict is followed by (after) a team or group of people and the colour you might become if you were embarrassed.

16d         I caught bird lifting something floating in the sea (7)
ICEBERG — The I from the clue and the one letter cricketing abbreviation for C(aught) is followed by a reversal (lifting) of a freshwater diving bird.

18d         At home with a beer — it possibly gets you drunk (9)
INEBRIATE — A little word meaning at home or not out is followed by an anagram (possibly) of A BEER IT.

20d         Visitor to university, gentleman turning up on time (7)
TOURIST — The TO from the clue, U(niversity) and a reversal (turning up) of a way of addressing a gentleman and then finish it all off with T(ime)


21d         Old article about independent hospital department (7)
ANCIENT — The indefinite article, the one letter abbreviation meaning about or circa, another abbreviation, this time for I(ndependent) and finally a hospital department that deals with problems with ears, noses and throats.

23d         Better location on the French Riviera, on river (5)
NICER — A city on the Mediterranean coast of France is followed by the abbreviation for R(iver).

25d         Record 500 in battle getting oxygen (5)
VIDEO — The Roman numeral for 500 is inside (in) a verb to battle or rival and then (getting) the chemical symbol for O(xygen).

26d         Pressure on amateur to perform (4)
PLAY – The one letter abbreviation for P(ressure) is followed by (on) a word meaning amateur or non-professional.

I liked 22a and 8d. My favourite was 17a.

The Quickie Pun:- ROW + MAN + KNOWS = ROMAN NOSE

67 comments on “DT 28256

  1. I turned to the back page fully expecting to find Ray T as he was not on duty last Thursday but he was nowhere to be seen today.
    Nevertheless Mr Ron has delivered a cracking puzzle. It was not at all hard but, with the single exception perhaps of 2d,
    the surface readings were impeccable which made it a joy to solve. My rating is 1*/4*.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Kath.

  2. Best puzzle of the week for me. If it is a RayT then it’s certainly on the easier end of the scale. Many thanks to the mystery setter and to Kath for the review. I hope you didn’t have to stand on a cold station platform to take the pic at 17a.

  3. If it is a Ray T, then I’ve never completed one more quickly! As Kath says, it didn’t seem quite like a Ray T, but the ‘corrupt at heart’ device seems quite like the familiar ‘sweetheart’. 2d has been seen before. Plenty of enjoyable clues though. Thanks to Kath and whoever the setter is.

  4. I don’t know if this was a RayT or not – it did have some stretched synonyms – what has Remember to do with 27a? It also had a reference to the Queen.

    But no complaints from me today even if it is a RayT as I thought it was fair and I enjoyed the solve even if it was not too difficult.

    1. G. 27a: The answer and remember are both listed as synonyms of each other in the BRB Thesaurus and Collins Online Thesaurus.

      1. To me remembering is a matter of recalling something without necessarily understanding – whereas 27a is a matter of knowing through context, deduction or understanding – it may not involve recollection.

        Thesauri and dictionaries often give meanings based on similarity because of prior usage but in my opinion also give great breadth to meanings that miss the nuances of language and often lack precision.

        1. You can recognise a face or remember a face, they both mean the same thing (in a particular context) – you’ve recalled a face. It matters not what us mere mortals think, it’s what it states in the main dictionaries and thesauri that counts – that’s what the setters and editors use to verify words and synonyms. I do agree that some of the synonyms and definitions that crop up do seem (ostensibly) a little stretched but nearly always they are justifiable when researched and analysed.

  5. Kath we agree that this did not feel like a RayT puzzle. Yes it has the queen and only single word answers but several clues are more than eight words. We did not notice any innuendo and the whole solve went much more quickly than usual for a RayT.
    That said it was still enjoyable and we’ll just have to wait and see if anyone pops in to tell us what is going on.

  6. I’ve not been around on this blog for long enough to know who setters but I really enjoyed today’s crossword whoever it was.

    I know some people are not keen on too many anagrams but I like them!

    Thanks to whichever setter it was and to Kath.

  7. Enjoyable and by far one of the quickest recent solves.

    favourite probably 28a, though i also liked 7d, 26d and 18d

    Many thanks Kath and setter

  8. I completed this very quickly in not many passes. No teasing out of answers. No parsing word by word. No penny drop moments. How strange for a RayT day. Well done Kath Thanks to the setter but why so many anagrams?

      1. The trend seems to be upward Kath. I don’t mind anagrams as such but as I have said before they are so easy to spot and solve that after the first read through we have so many checkers that the second pass becomes read and write however difficult the clues are

  9. Well that was the easiest solve ever for me. All good clues though and very enjoyable. Liked 10a and 15d especially. */****
    Thanks to the mystery setter (I can’t tell one from another) and Kath.

  10. Thanks to whomever for a puzzle that was eminently doable and enjoyable at the same time. Good to see 21a appearing now that it is no longer PC to refer to a female performer in that way. 3d gets my Fav accolade. Thanks for your liberally illustrated hints Kath. I wont guess at the setter as I’m afraid I don’t make a practice of analysing the identity of setters. **/***.

  11. I could not believe it could be the challenging Ray T that I expected – much too easy and lots of other reasons others mentioned – so I was keen to see if anyone else agreed. But still good fun. Thank you to Kath and to whoever set it.

  12. Enjoyable puzzle but very much on the easy end for a Thursday. The only one that presented a problem for me was 24a, I hastily put in unearth, once I realised my mistake, the rest was plain sailing. 1.5*/3* Many thanks to Mr Ron and Kath.

    1. Unearth is a fair mistake to make. Earth is an anagram of heart and the word corrupt can be used as an anagram indicator which may well be a deliberate misdirection by the setter

  13. This would have been a record breaking time for me, if I had spelled 1a correctly the first time around. Bah. */*

  14. Other than foolishly bunging in ‘risk’ at 1d I managed this one without aid…..possibly the first time for a Thursday…and if it is a Ray T definitely the first time ever.

    Thanks to the setter, whoever they are, and to Kath for all the hints and the unravelling.

  15. Thanks to the setter and Kath for the review and hints. I agree with Kath. Definitely not RayT, apart from the missing traits in the back pager, the quickie wasn’t composed of one word clues. This was the easiest back pager I’ve ever seen. 9a&2d were both old chestnuts. Favourite was 16d. Last in was 14d. Was 0.5*/3* for me.

  16. Can it really be Thursday? I suppose it must be because that’s what it says on the top of the page I have entertained Australia already. Having a few moments to spare I thought I’d just have a quick look at RayT and put him aside for later – but I finished the crossword in one pass at breakneck speed. So not Ray then. No real favourites but fun while it lasted. 0.25*/3*. Thanks to the stter and Kathtoo, of course.

  17. I’m in the “not a RayT” camp or if it is I’ll be sharing Jose’s hat!

    Easiest backpager for some time so I’ll go for */*** as it was quite enjoyable while it lasted. I think 18d was probably favourite as it sort of applies to me :grin:

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Kath

  18. This was certainly at the easy-peasy end of the difficulty spectrum. I venture to suggest that it was the most readily solved backpager for many years. Having said that, it was very enjoyable while it lasted. I went through the clues after completion and appreciated it more as a result. Anyway, 16 down was my favourite and 1*/4* overall.

    Thanks to the non-Ray T setter and to Kath for her review.

  19. What an upside down day. I expected the usual grim fight to the death on Thursday so that I could sigh, curse, put the puzzle away and get on with all the jobs I usually do in the morning before gritting my teeth and returning to the fray several times before finishing eventually muttering under my breath. But no! Along comes this delight and bang went my morning chores. What a delightful surprise. Thank you setter for breaking the routine, whoever you are.

  20. We agree with Kath that it was not a Ray T, and with Pommers that it was enjoyable while it lasted.

  21. Well, I’m not quite sure what to say about today’s offering. Finished before I had really settled down, no real favourites and well, no real challenge.
    Hmm, I guess I agree pretty much with Tstrummer.
    .025/2* overall.
    Thanks anyway to the setter and to Kath for her review.

  22. I’m glad that it isn’t a RayT puzzle, since I won’t feel so guilty at being critical of the setter for using “on” as a positional indicator in no less than five separate Down clues and employing a very contrived anagram for 27a!

    Those quibbles apart, I thought the surfaces were generally excellent and the solve extremely enjoyable, even if it wasn’t as challenging as I was expecting for today. My favourite was 15a.

    Many thanks to the compiler and to Kath.

  23. 1*/2* is all we can dredge up. Not Ray T, but too easy to be too much fun.

    Kath, to average out our favourites, we have none today!

    Thanks to Kath and Mr Ron. Winery and brewery visit tomorrow so may be in no condition to comment.

  24. Love the mystery setter, managed to finish this without any hints or aids, and before finishing breakfast, wow. Been doing these since the dark ages and it is rare that I achieve this. Perhaps I am finally getting it?

  25. Well, I never! Wotta surprise! I’m still in shock.
    I whizzed through this in record time without tearing my hair out or using gizmo once. Even the anagrams solved themselves without having to write out circles.
    Loved every minute of it, dear setter, and many thanks to Kath for her entertaining review. I’m just over the moon.

    1. Love the comment about anagrams “solving themselves” They do just that with a bit of practice.

    2. Hi M.
      Hope the back is improved & Sadie well
      Nothing to do with today but coincidental to yesterday’s 1a: did you see the Washington Post headline yesterday: “Baby Boomers have been a disaster for America and Donald Trump is their biggest mistake yet”
      (It turns out that the group with the biggest support for Trump are the BB generation!).

      1. Sadie is well, very excited right now as her walker just arrived to take her and her house guest out. Back is still so-so, I like a nice moan and groan from time to time.
        I certainly agree with the Washington Post, I can’t stand the man, he’s such a disaster.

  26. Good afternoon everybody.

    A joint effort today although my oppo didn’t get a chance to step up to the plate. Remarkably this puzzle was completed in my quickest ever time. Despite its straightforwardness the puzzle otherwise appeared to display Mr T’s hallmarks. Perhaps that was some kind of elaborate double bluff.


  27. Definitely not Ray T as I managed to solve it in nearly record time 🤗 */** Thursday wasn’t quite the same. Thanks to Kath for the blog, after normally having far too many favourites if I had to pick one today it would be 1d 😏

  28. There I was , thinking it was RayT ‘s turn , but how come I was able to do it without any hair pulling ? So it was somebody else, after all .
    10a was my favourite.
    Thanks to Kath and the unknown setter.
    PS someone should tell Brian it’s safe to come out and play .

  29. In common with the majority I found this as easy as it gets. Not so sure I enjoyed it as I felt, as Merusa said, that it was solving itself.
    Nothing contentious but nothing to excite so no COTD.
    Thanks to setter & Kath for the review.

  30. Don’t think I gave today’s setter a fair chance as I was so disappointed when just looking at 1a made me think – no, it isn’t THE man!
    In all fairness, it was a good puzzle although nothing really stood out as a favourite.
    Did rather like the two bird clues, so 2&16d get the nod.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to Kath who probably got an easier ride today than she expected!

  31. R&W – */*** – no ‘look ups,’ no writing out anagram letters. Just what I needed when I have not been able to look at a puzzle for 3 days.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and Kath.

  32. Oh dear, I too whistled thru this despite runny nose – until the last 3, then VOICE for 25d made that corner impossible. O.K. no D in it but, but more haste, less accuracy !!!!

  33. A most definite * for difficulty, very easy for a Telegraph Thursday. Enjoyable while it lasted…

  34. I printed this out to make a start on over my lunch break, but to my surprise I had time to finish it too and then read the comments. Most un-Thursdaylike, and possibly a record time.

    A smooth crossword which I enjoyed. 11d is my favourite, with 16d runner-up and 18d 3rd. Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  35. No problems today, I managed most of this on the way home.
    I had been expecting the usual Ray-T horror show, but it looks like he is on holiday!!!
    Many thanks Kath, for a lovely blog and Mr.Ron for some nice clues, favourite was4d…

  36. A bit late to comment now as I suspect that’s it for today and probably no-one will read this but here I go anyway.
    We know that it’s not a RayT and neither is it a Shamus – it doesn’t ‘feel’ right for either of them and, in any case, they both ‘pop in’ to lay claim to their crosswords.
    This leads me to suspect that we have a new setter.
    If I’m right then perhaps we could invite him or her to call in, introduce him or herself and be welcomed into one of the Thursday slots.
    On the other hand if I’m wrong and it’s one of the regulars I will, of course, feel a complete twit, but what’s new?

    1. Kath, I think you’re right and we have a new setter, it certainly didn’t feel like one of our regulars. It’s very telling that RayT didn’t clock in to own this, so we’re definitely correct that it isn’t him.

    2. Kath,
      Perhaps you are right. However is it not pertinent that there are so many who found this the easiest solve for a long time? It imust be ncredibly difficult to pitch the level to test people like you yet be solvable for people like me.
      Since I joined the blog I can’t remember a day like today where there are no “found this tough today” entries..
      Part of the pleasure is solving the ” doh” clue.
      If this is a new setter this important aspect should be considered in my view.

    3. Thanks for the replies to both of you – I agree that it must be very tricky to get the difficulty level just right but, really, it’s all about wave length. If my life depended on whizzing through a Monday Rufus crossword or a Friday Giovanni I wouldn’t be here now – I’d have been six feet under a very long time ago!
      On that happy note night night to everyone and sleep well. :yawn:

  37. I’ve never finished a puzzle so quickly! I often don’t finish them at all either because of time constraints or the difficulty. Such fun.

  38. 0.5*/3*, I think, and 22a a rather obvious but amusing favourite. Thanks to the setter, and to Kath.

      1. Thanks Big Dave I am in awe of you all and will be wearing an L plate for a long time I think!

  39. This was an OK crossword, for entry-level solvers, but a very poor substitute for a Ray T. I hope this isn’t going to be a regular occurrence. What we need now is a real cracker from G today. 0.5*/1*.

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