DT 28261 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28261

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28261

Hints and tips by KiwiColin

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***


Kia ora from Aotearoa. 
A solo flight today as Carol is once again away in Wellington leaving me to hold the fort. Now that the UK has done the clock changing thing our solving time has been moved again and it is now an early afternoon activity instead of a late morning one but we can cope with that. Our weather continues to do its Spring thing and fluctuate hugely. We even had a late frost a couple of days ago which rather upset the keen gardeners that we know.

A nice puzzle again from Jay.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Mutual respect’s beginning with police car going off (10)
RECIPROCAL: Firstly the initial letter of respect and then an anagram (going off) of POLICE CAR.

6a     Stone circle left on peak, oddly (4)
OPAL: The letter shaped like a circle and the abbreviation for left surround the first and third letters of peak.

9a     Criminal pair one found in sect (7)
CULPRIT: A two letter abbreviation for pair and the Roman numeral one are inside a sect or religious group.

10a     Incapable of supporting oneself? (7)
LEGLESS: Literally not having supportive appendages.

12a     Viewer keen to see what’s in store (6-7)
WINDOW-SHOPPER: A cryptic description of someone studying a retail display. The clue misleads one towards a fortune teller.

14a     Go and cover for person switching sides (8)
TURNCOAT: A go or a shot and cover as one could with paint perhaps.

15a     Digs suit (6)
SPADES: Double definition. The second relates to a pack of cards.

17a     A person elected by vicar to refurbish (6)
REVAMP: A from the clue and a member of parliament follow a three letter address for a vicar.

19a     Criminal only disheartened with condition attached by judge initially (8)
JOYRIDER: Start with the first letter of judge, then the first and last letters (disheartened) of only and then a term for an attached condition to a contract or agreement.

21a     Limp and miss a platform — I must go to California shortly (13)
LACKADAISICAL: A word meaning miss or be without, A from the clue, a raised platform, I from the clue and finish with a three letter abbreviation for California.

24a     Hurry back and watch Kirov’s last dancer (7)
NUREYEV: Reverse a word meaning to move quickly, then a word meaning to watch and the last letter of Kirov.

25a     Gently boil outside with fish, for example (7)
SWIMMER: Insert the abbreviation for with into a word meaning gently boil.

26a     A measure of whisky enjoyed in Scottish island (4)
SKYE: A lurker hiding in the fourth and fifth words of the clue.

27a     Very popular, and completely sane, drinking a gallon (3,3,4)
ALL THE RAGE: Take a 3,5 phrase meaning completely sane and insert A from the clue and the abbreviation for gallon.


1d     Loaded, but ridiculous (4)
RICH: Double definition. For the second definition the phrase “a bit xxxx” is the common usage.

2d     State of tension seeing coward struggling across line (4,3)
COLD WAR: An anagram (struggling) of COWARD includes L(ine).

3d     Maybe mum’s got people with her controlling organisation (6,7)
PARENT COMPANY: What a mum is an example of and a word that can mean ‘has got people with her.’

4d     Exotic oil on tap, available as choice (8)
OPTIONAL: An anagram (exotic) of OIL ON TAP.

5d     A season up in the hills of Africa (5)
ATLAS: A from the clue and then reverse a verb meaning to add a seasoning that is often found with pepper.

7d     Parking on grass to get around parking twice, got ready (7)
PREPPED: We need to use the abbreviation for parking three times. Once at the beginning and then twice inside a word for a grass stem.

8d     Desperate attempt to survive holiday centre (4,6)
LAST RESORT: A word for survive or endure and a place one might go for a holiday.

11d     Doctors ring needing custom (5,8)
GROUP PRACTICE: A ring or collection of people and a word for a custom or usage.

13d     Plots Conservative approach in the case of schools (10)
STORYLINES: Someone who is right-wing politically and an approach or direction is all enclosed by the first and last letters (case) of schools.

16d     Look after property in strike about old customs (5-3)
HOUSE-SIT: The abbreviation for old and a word for customs or regular actions are inside a synonym for a strike or punch.

18d     Governor‘s frailty, getting broody regularly (7)
VICEROY: A frailty or failing and the second, fourth and sixth letters of broody.

20d     Predicament laid out over English military award (7)
DILEMMA: An anagram (out) of LAID contains the abbreviations for English and Military Medal.

22d     Incus discovered in Roman villa (5)
ANVIL: This bone found in the middle ear is named after a lurker hiding in the last two words of the clue.

23d     Couple lacking source of cash for bank of Scotland (4)
BRAE: Remove the first letter of cash from inside a word for a pair. This pair is most commonly used for game birds.

I enjoyed putting all the pieces together for 21a so that is my favourite today.

Quickie pun    jaw    +    nick    +    hash    =    Johnny Cash
I had to text Carol to sort that one out for me. Thanks Carol.

68 comments on “DT 28261

  1. A very enjoyable puzzle completed just before lights out last night with ‘hold ups’ in the SW; I will be happy to get back to ‘normal’ time zone differentials on Sunday. 2.5*/3* for me

    Stand out favourite 21a.

    Thanks to Jay and Kiwi Colin.

  2. Yes, the dreaded time change time of year! Why we still do this is a mystery to me. But back to crosswords – a nice puzzle today – over a bit quickly but very enjoyable.

    Thanks to all for site, blog and puzzle.

    1. If you lived north of Newcastle you would understand.
      We prefer our children to go to school in the light rather than the dark.
      They can come home in the dark because there is much less traffic then, as opposed to the morning rush hour..

      Annual rant now over.

      1. Well, that is a reason! It is better than the usual ones about saving power or farmers liking to sleep in or something!

        On the dark side, though, changing times has been shown to have some very negative health effects.

        1. I’ve never understood the ‘saving power’ or ‘farmers and their cows ‘ reasons.

    2. I have the perfect solution – next spring move the clocks forward 30 minutes and leave them there because, to me, whoever defined GMT was off by that amount. And, it might cause more upset with the continental neighbors. Oh dear, never mind.

      1. Would work for me. I remember the annoyance of allowing for the synchronisation of industrial plant data acquisition systems, which could not have time changes due to data either being missing for an hour, or having two sets with the same time stamp, with desktops whose clocks automatically changed. Suddenly there was mayhem!

    3. I’m with you on the silliness of the time change thing. It’s probably just in my head, but I never feel right or quite adjust to the new time when we move the clocks forward. When we move them back, great, which we don’t get to do over here until Nov 6. Could always move to Arizona where they don’t change their clocks, smart people.

  3. 2*/4*. Another wonderful puzzle from Jay.

    I didn’t get a chance to post yesterday. Having finished the excellent puzzle (thank you Shamus and Mr Kitty), our friends arrived to stay for a few days earlier than planned. This morning I was able to complete today’s offering before they came down to breakfast and I am now sneaking in a quick post while they are cooing over our youngest grandchild.

    Favourite today is 21a. It’s such a good word!

    Many thanks to Jay and 1K.

  4. Did most of the crossword sitting in our Quarry Park, watching the leaves tumbling down – bliss!
    24a was very clever.

  5. Well, first frost of the Autumn here in north Derbyshire – pretty severe too, car windows all frozen up. It’s time to get the thermal leggings on, I think. Now, let’s have a look at this ‘ere crossword…

  6. Enjoyable puzzle, particularly liked 21a,it took a while for the penny to drop with 25a, I struggled to see where the second letter came from. 3*/3* Many thanks to Jay and to KiwiColin for the hints.

  7. Enjoyed most of this except for my last 4 in for which I had to use electronic help.

    Thanks to the setter and to the solitary Kiwi.

  8. A R&W today but a very good one. Enjoyed it and sweated a bit over 23d and 14a.
    Agree with the ratings of about **/***. Had the luxury, today, of time to sit down in silence with a cafetiere of black stuff. A solitary and guilty pleasure. Thanks to the setter.

  9. Like others, I found this to be a gentle stroll in the park, but nevertheless enjoyable. Favourites for me 21a and 13d. Thanks to all

  10. 1.5*/4* from me for this excellent Jay puzzle. A lovely balance of clue types, with the marvellous 21 across my favourite just because it is such a brilliant word.

    Thanks to both species of avian life involved today.

  11. Very enjoyable and interesting puzzle today – IMHO the best for quite a long while – loved it!

    It leaves the rest of the day to go and attack the garden – mow up the leaves, cut back the roses, power-wash the paths – that’ll do for starters!

  12. A well received crossword by the bloggers today and around a **/*** for me.
    Liked the surface of 24a and the long charade comprising 21a.and a mention for 21a,would’nt like one of those in my ear !

  13. Thanks to Jay for a nice puzzle and thanks to the 2ks for explaining how the bones of my inner ear relate to 22d.

  14. Jay consistently supplies top-rate puzzles (as well as the most amusing Quickie puns) – thanks to him and our solo Kiwi. My favourite was 19a.

  15. Well that really was a doddle and certainly not as much fun as yesterday. For my part I was pleased it was light on anagrams – I believe only one. 27a probably my Fav. Thank you Jay and KiwiColin. */**.

  16. 21a was my favorite in this lovely crossword from Jay. I just love the sound of the word!
    Overall 1.5/3.5*.
    Thanks to the Wednesday Wizard, and the solo Kiwi for his review.

  17. Yeah! No help needed today, in contrast to yesterday. Let’s face it, it’s in contrast to just about every day. But thanks to KiwiColin for providing the blog.

  18. Great fun as usual from Jay. The answers were uncovered but having finished the puzzle it didn’t matter. Too many good uns as usual from Jay to find a particular favourite. Nice to see the sun again on a glorious but chilly autumn day. Thanks to kiwi collin for the blog.

    1. Perhaps my reply to comment 30 below might be of help in regard to the answers that are exposed for you.
      For me the answers are concealed under the ‘click here’ as usual.

  19. Another beautifully constructed puzzle from Jay. Lots to enjoy, with 21a probably my favourite – I liked how it all came together so neatly, and the word itself is great. Thanks to Jay for the fun and to KiwiColin for his well-crafted hints.

  20. Late start today boat things got in the way, moving mooring for winter, cheaper though.
    A really well constructed crossword plenty of good wordplay and dare I say it not to many anagrams. No real favourites for this one.
    Thanks to Jay to Colin

  21. Splendid puzzle as usual from Jay. Fav has to be 24a, simply because Nureyev did dance for the Kirov ballet before he defected.

    Ta Mutchly to Jay and KiwiColin.

  22. No paper today so no-pencil anagram solves. Used to struggle with that but, like MP says it has become easier with practice.
    Lovely puzzle with some super clues and nothing contentious or esoteric. Favourite 21a except I always want to put an ‘s’ after the ‘k’.
    Thanks to setter & KiwiColin for the review.

  23. Enjoyable enough … Happened to do the quickie today, and the pun gave me the biggest smile of the day. Thanks to all.

    1. I too did the Quickie but was completely baffled by the pun and now,having peeked at the 2Ks’ solution, I am not surprised as I am afraid I have to admit to never having heard of the gentleman in question!

  24. Good afternoon everybody.

    Nice puzzle today. Favourite was last in 9a. Liked 1d and 19a too. Didn’t understand rationale for 26a but solution seemed clear enough and it turns out it was just a more than usually cunningly disguised lurker.


  25. So much to love in today’s Jay. I’m finding it really difficult to choose a fave, loved 10a, 19a and 24a in particular, but fave is the very popular 21a.
    Thanks to Jay and KiwiColin for the entertainment.

    Much confusion this morning. Archie Cat came in for breakfast looking so moth eaten and disheveled. Sadie’s walker arrived at the same time so she took him to the vet. They wanted $900, which I immediately nixed as he doesn’t spend much time in Truxton Towers, but we got it down to $300. A lot to spend on someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time with us.

    1. Oh dear, hope Archie does ok. Our eldest daughter forked out $1800 to to mend a broken leg of a feral kitten, but said kitten has now become somewhat domesticated and spends her days indoors curled up on the couch. Her mother and brother visit periodically, and always at mealtimes. Daughter paid for all 3 to be fixed, so they are not adding to the feral population. Thankfully we have a wonderful vet who treats our almost 16 year old like royalty, always discounts his fees, and does not recommend exorbitant treatments. Love him to bits.

  26. I thought this one was superb, even by Jay’s very high standards with a lovely balance of different clue types and constructions to boot.

    Favourites for me were 27a, 3d and 18d.

    Many thanks to Mr. Mutch and to Colin.

  27. I found this a little trickier 😕 ***/*** after sailing through most of it needed help with 19, 25 & 27a 😳 So big thanks to KiwiColin and of course to Jay. Liked 21a & 17a 😇

  28. Why on earth do you put the solution at the beginning of your suggestions. Surely , finding the answer is a last resort , not an immediate solution.

    1. Welcome to the blog Glynne.
      The answers are hidden under the ‘click here’ button at the beginning of the hint.
      I remember that some time ago when people were accessing the site through Google these were not working correctly. The cure was to enter http://bigdave44.com into the address bar and it then appears as it should.
      Perhaps someone who knows more about these things can help?

  29. Good morning all.
    A fine day is just dawning here so it looks like the planned golf trip to another course about an hour away will happen. This means I leave before 8 so no time to dally this morning. Looks like I got most things right despite one fewer pair of eyes but I will confess that I did check up on an S or C for the penultimate letter of 11d and, like LabradorRulesOK, almost put an extra S in the hidden answer for 21a.
    Enjoy what is left of your day everyone.

  30. Delightful puzzle from Jay today, and thanks to KiWiColin for the few I was too thick to solve, even after spending time outside with head down on the potting bench! Favorite has to be 16d for the oh so fitting picture. Never could spell 21a, always said it with an s after lack, oops.

  31. An enjoyable challenge, for the most part straightforward. 1d and 9ac held me up for a little while – I thought the latter was quite a complex construction for the Telegraph back pager. No complaints, it was very satisfying when I finally cracked it.

  32. Was moving through nicely, successful with all bar 23 down, would never have got that one.

    ***/***. Thanks to KC and setter.

    I recently discovered I’m a gifted psychic.

    Now I know what you’re gonna say………..

  33. Managed to squeeze this in over a much shorter and earlier breakfast than usual (without even any caffeine to oil the creaking brain cells). I just had time to check the otic 22d but not to make notes, though can remember that I did very much enjoy it. Lots of great clues with no particular favourite. I’ll mention 26a as bringing a smile to my face (whisky will do that to me) and add that that the quickie pun was a good ‘un.

    Many thanks to Jay and KiwiColin. I agree with BusyLizzie that the picture for 16d is perfect. :good:

  34. Such a shame that my work now means that I can’t give these wonderful crosswords the attention they deserve.
    I filled the top half in about 15 minutes at 6 o’clock this morning, pick this up this evening after a day at work and the morons that run Southern Trains and I can hardly get one more answer.
    Roll on retirement!!!
    Thanks to Jay and KiwiColin.

    1. Don’t wish your life away – retirement is not all it’s cracked up to be – I really miss the banter and laughs!

      1. I know what you mean, but when you have just spent 45 minutes at East Croydon station on a freezing cold Wednesday evening because there is a failure to the station lights at Purley, you yearn for retirement!!

        1. My advice would be to take retirement as soon as you can, it’s as good or as bad as you choose to make it.

          The best thing I’ve ever done was to take early retirement in 2014, although I concede that not everyone has that luxury.

          “Banter and laughs” may be all well and good, but they are more than offset by the tedium of commuting (I did it for over 35 years), leaving home and returning home in the dark during the winter months and being at the whim of employers who could make you redundant tomorrow if they so chose. You have my sympathies, HIYD.

        2. Like Silvanus, I say take retirement as soon as you can. I worked for so long because I didn’t know what I would do if I didn’t work, well, surprise, surprise, I’m now retired and don’t have enough time to do everything I want to do. I agree, finances play a part, but you learn to adjust and live on a tight budget.

      2. I would like to retire but as my customers keep pointing out one has to start working before one can retire

  35. Late in again today – same excuse of daughter staying plus I’m having problems with the site today. Also, my email notifications seem to have stopped coming through.
    Nice puzzle from Jay and I’m picking a completely different favourite in 10a – just made me laugh so much!
    Fell into the same trap as others over the spelling of 21a.

    Thanks to Jay and to our lone Kiwi.

  36. Thanks to Jay and to Kiwi Colin for the review and hints. A super puzzle from Jay as usual, very high consistent level. A joy to solve. Liked 26a, but my favourite was 21a. Last in was 13d. Was 2*/4* for me.

  37. I’m going to retire now but only to bed.
    Getting late and had a very long and busy day at work.
    21a was my last one and had to check the thesaurus until I found this strange looking word and immediately made me laugh as I thought of that slang expression you have and which is followed by “screw a kangaroo”.
    13d took a while as I was desperatly trying to fit a C in the answer.
    Thanks to Jay for the super crossword and to KiwiColin for the review.

  38. All the usual accolades to Jay for a typically elegant and erudite puzzle. I’ll go with Gazza and pick 19a as my best in show. Ta to Colin and Jay. 1*/4*

  39. **/***. Enjoyable puzzle to get me back into the saddle and a good primer for Thursdays challenge which I’m about to print off. Thanks to all.

  40. Thoroughly enjoyed this one. But I have a question which has probably been answered before but I am quite new to this. How do you know who has compiled the crossword ? As today it was Jay …. how do you know. Thanks Matthew

  41. 23d and 27a last two in. I thought a beautifully constructed crossword. Not done many lately as been away. Thanks to Jay for a real joy of a puzzle. It seems that we are all more or less agreed on this one but with different sticking points. It is so good when the answers once you get them are all so clearly right.

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