DT 28279 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28279

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28279

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****


Kia ora from Aotearoa. 
The significant earthquake that we had about 10 days ago has probably disappeared from your news by now but is still very much occupying our attention here. We are having minor earthquakes at a frequency of about one every three minutes. Most of these are small enough that they go un-noticed but some can give us a bit of a wobble. Kaikoura, the town most affected, still has no reliable land access and depends on irregular military vehicle convoys for supplies. Helicopters or small boats are the other options. Wellington has started the demolition of a few multi-storey buildings that were irreparably damaged in the big shake. Where we are, life is going on pretty much as normal but we do feel for those whose lives have been thrown into turmoil.

Nice to be back in our regular Wednesday blogging slot and having this Jay puzzle to deal with.
When we were writing the hints we noticed a sort of theme in the wordplay for 11a, 12a, 27a and 28a.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     In bed is not as fortunate (7)
BLESSED : A word meaning ‘is not as’ or ‘not as much as’ is inside bed from the clue.

5a     Opt out in closed event (4,3)
SHOT PUT : A synonym for closed surrounds an anagram (out) of OPT.

9a     Defeat hearing defect (5)
FLOOR : To defeat someone by knocking them down is a homophone of a word for a defect.

10a     Society member hears about bishop and valet (9)
TRIBESMAN : Hears as in a court of law surrounds the chess abbreviation for bishop, and then a word for a valet or male servant.

11a     Confirmed international tariff will include new event (10)
INVETERATE : The abbreviation for international and then an anagram (new) of EVENT and a word for a tariff .

12a     Time in charge is fair (4)
FETE : The abbreviation for time is inside a word for a charge.

14a     Pants perhaps turned German off (12)

18a     Plan to go and get X-ray set — it needs reordering (4,8)
EXIT STRATEGY : An anagram (needs restoring) of GET X-RAY SET IT.

21a     Manage temperature for a little one (4)
RUNT : A word meaning manage or organise and then the abbreviation for temperature.

22a     Out of bed and suffering — honest (10)
UPSTANDING : A two letter word for out of bed and then suffering or bearing.

25a     Powerless, being suspended by radio operator (9)
HAMSTRUNG : An amateur radio operator and then a word meaning suspended from a hook perhaps.

26a     Silly relation taken in by hollow invective (5)
INANE : A short informal word for a grandmother is inside the first and last letters (hollow) of invective.

27a     Hurried returns deserve recount (7)
NARRATE : Reverse a word meaning moved quickly, and then a word for deserve or be worthy of.

28a     Errs badly about reversing charge for jackets (7)
REEFERS : An anagram (badly) of ERRS surrounds the reversal of a word for a charge.


1d     Research scientist leaving home after end of job (6)
BOFFIN : Start with the last letter of job, then an informal word for leaving and the two letter word for at home.

2d     Slowly change and pass on responsibility, ignoring leader (6)
EVOLVE : Take a word meaning to pass on or hand down responsibility and remove its first letter.

3d     Examine small metal container during voyage at sea (10)
SCRUTINISE : The abbreviation for small, and then a sea voyage contains a three letter metal container.

4d     Try to prevent grazing animals crossing top of track (5)
DETER : Grazing animals that often have antlers contain the first letter of track.

5d     Second family? Mean with money and very clingy (4-5)
SKIN-TIGHT : The abbreviation for a second, a word for family generally and then not generous with money.

6d     Love women with education to be outstanding (4)
OWED : The letter representing love as a score, then the abbreviation for women and the one for education.

7d     Indulged in ridiculous pipe dream, with no source of income (8)
PAMPERED : An anagram (ridiculous) of PiPEDREAM with the first letter of income removed.

8d     Touching lines created by blokes under effect of the sun (8)
TANGENTS : The colour one strives to achieve by sunbathing and then blokes or men.

13d     Be providing protection for mobile training vessel (10)
BRIGANTINE : Be from the clue provides protection by surrounding an anagram (mobile) of TRAINING.

15d     EU partner’s terrible entrance (9)
ENRAPTURE : An anagram (terrible) of EU PARTNER.

16d     Beat one’s opponents crossing ground, but become less convincing (4,4)
WEAR THIN : Ground or even our planet is inside a word meaning beat one’s opponents.

17d     Unsuitable name, ‘Scrooge’, when hoarding no millions (8)
MISNOMER : ‘No’ from the clue and the abbreviation for millions are inside what Scrooge is an example of.

19d     Cover up a case of these and expand (6)
DILATE : Reverse a word for a cover or cap and then the first and last letters of ‘these’.

20d     Fliers, for example, and engineers test regularly (6)
EGRETS: The abbreviation for ‘for example’, army engineers, and then the first and third letters of test.

23d     Cat and dog ultimately in row (5)
TIGER : The last letter of dog is inside a row or bank.

24d     Mountain within borders of Vietnam (4)
ETNA : A lurker hiding in the last word of the clue.

There are two twelve letter answers in the puzzle. We liked both of them and can’t pick between them for a favourite.

Quickie pun   Mars    +    turf    +     hall    =    masterful

45 comments on “DT 28279

  1. I’d agree with the star ratings but couldn’t decide on a particular favourite. Thanks to the one Jay and the 2 Ks

    I am not sure how long the blog will be here for people to read this, but can I highly recommend today’s splendiferous celebratory Micawber Toughie while I can.

  2. Back home after a week of travel which included driving 1,800 miles over 4 days. This resulted in ‘spotty’ crossword solving and, with the idiots continuing the DDOS, even ‘spottier’ access to the site.

    So, lack of practice created quite a lot of head scratching on today’s very enjoyable puzzle – 2.5*/4*. Joint favourites 27a and 16d, my last two in.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks, and, of course, BD for his continuing herculean efforts in keeping us blogging.

  3. Fingers crossed, normal service has been resumed. Thanks to BD, who must have been working his socks off to get the site fixed.

    Thanks to the kiwis for the review of a nice puzzle.

  4. Even though I had the parsing right in 11a, I was still trying to include another “n” for new in the fodder.
    When this was resolved, 2d, 1d and 9a finally fell.
    Favourite is 1d for the smooth surface.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review. It would be great if the Earth as it stands was the finished product but unfortunately we are likely to witness more transformations.

  5. A lovely crossword and a lovely review.
    My last answer was 5a – just couldn’t see it for ages.
    Because I was thinking of the wrong kind of indulged I was very slow with the 7d anagram but this and 5a were really the only two that caused trouble for me today.
    I liked 25a and 4 and 8d. My favourite was 5d.
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s – glad to hear that life is, for you two at least, going on normally but sorry to hear that it’s anything but normal for so much of New Zealand.
    I’m still having no luck with the blog on my lap top, which is what I normally use but all seems fine on husband’s computer – I just don’t get it at all. I went as far as turning mine off – thought it might be tired and needing a rest but that didn’t seem to help – oh dear!
    Off to try the Micawber Toughie.

  6. I don’t want to sound smug ( I prefer ‘lucky’), but I’m unaware of any IT issues.

    I use the print newspaper to fill in and then my iPad to look at the blog. What’s going wrong with other formats, I’m wondering?

    1. You don’t sound smug at all but you are lucky. Judging by how many regular commenters are absent at the moment, and have been for a while, I think lots of people are still having trouble.

    2. Just looking at BDs posts….I’m wondering if it’s because I have a link on my home screen and thus have no need to be logging in each time?

      1. I have a link too and only need to log in when I’m doing the hints – I just don’t get it, in other words it’s all way too clever for me. :sad:

    3. Bluebird, I too use the print newspaper and then my Ipad but nevertheless have faced all sorts of intermittent problems. 😠

      1. Been having problems accessing via iPad. Hope whoever is involved gets bored soon and moves on to some other site.

  7. Done the digital download. Agree not difficult, but nevertheless satisfying and enjoyable.

    Off out now to buy the paper so I can try the much-recommended Micawber Toughie.

  8. Excellent stuff, my kind of puzzle – interesting cluing and lovely surfaces throughout. 1a, 5a were great to begin with. I like 18a for the simplicity of the definition, and I like the surface in 27a. I love “mobile training vessel” in 13d. Gazza will complain about the homophone because he would pronounces the R (9a).

    and a celebratory Micawber as well – today is a good day

    Many thanks 2Kiwis and Jay

    1. Now that I can access the blog I can confirm that I shuddered at the 9a ‘homophone’ (as I did with CODA/CODER in yesterday’s Toughie).

  9. Lovely stuff. 8D and 16D are my picks today, with 13D close behind. Thanks to the 2 two Ks and Jay.

    I agree with CS about the Micawber toughie!

  10. Took a while to get on the blog but I persevered. 2*/4* about right I thought, with several good clues, especially 1 down, my last one in. Thanks to all birdlife involved in today’s production.

  11. Super puzzle today, though the LHS gave me more problems. After staring at it, at last I solved 1d, which I loved, and then I was away. Last in was 16d, another fun clue.
    I’m not going to choose a fave, I loved it all.
    Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis for the review. I feel so sorry for your fellow countrymen who are still suffering, let’s hope it all calms down soon.

  12. Really enjoyable puzzle and a great review. 16d was my favourite and also my last one in as the penny dropped. Our weather remains damp but well north of here the temperatures are significantly below zero. Whistler skiing opens today. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. I forgot to say how much i feel for the New Zealanders who experienced the massive earthquake. We are well overdue our next one and last night on the news a quake of the same magnitude was discussed which would wipe out the BC economy and all our insurance companies by a factor of four. I’m glad to hear the 2Ks are well.

  13. After a rather daunting first impression this turned out to be the greatest fun – one of the best. Thank you Jay and the 2Ks to whom warm wishes go for a speedy relief from your ongoing tremor problems. Bunged in ‘stay put’ for 5a and struggled with 6d until penny dropped then initial thought for 14a was for clothes as second half of word. South simpler than North. ***/****.

  14. Morning all. When we were putting this together yesterday we did note that the site was reacting much more slowly than usual but at least it was responding. It seems to be pretty normal for us now (fingers crossed) so the worst effects must have been while we were asleep.
    Good to see that everyone enjoyed this puzzle as much as we did and we agree with CS on the Micawber Toughie too.

  15. 20d – Surely ‘regularly’ is wrong as that means the even letters of ‘test’, or am I being thick???

    1. Regularly to us just means in a recurring pattern. It gives no indication on whether one starts with an odd or an even letter. Sometimes the setters get really nasty and regularly can be every third letter. That tends to throw lots of people.

  16. Apart from a brief period earlier today (thanks again to BD for his help at the time), I’ve been unable to access the blog since Monday morning, and, believe me, I’ve tried and tried! Bluebird is even more fortunate than he or she thinks!

    I’m tempted to liken not having the Blog available to having a cherished pet run off – you desperately hope that it will come back and you miss it enormously while it’s gone. I can’t begin to imagine the frustrations that BD must be coping with, mine pale into insignificance in comparison I’m sure. Even now, I suspect that we are not yet back to normality from the time it took to finally access the site.

    I didn’t think that today’s Jay puzzle was quite up to his normal very high standards. Some of the surfaces didn’t seem as smooth as one would expect, and naturally I didn’t care for the repetition of “charge” to clue FEE in both 12a and 28a. My favourite was 5d.

    I’m pleased that the DT acknowledged yesterday’s faux pas with “CODDLES” with a small note today. They are usually very fair in admitting such mistakes and apologising for them.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks, I hope that your minor quakes will soon dissipate.

    1. When I tried to access the site just now, it was delayed by CloudFlare (I think I got that right) while they checked my browser. I’m assuming I passed the test since I’m here. Alas, I’m now receiving very strange emails and wonder if this is a result of the problems with the blog or whether I have a separate issue that needs to be addressed. Could some techie experts advise me?

  17. This is the first time I’ve been able to get through since Sunday. I have been suffering from withdrawal symptoms as completing the crossword without the presence of the blog diminishes the sense of achievement.
    What? Me, sad? Probably…..
    Anyway a reasonable crossword from Jay although not one of his best. 2/3* overall. Favourite clue… 23d.
    Thanks to Jay and to the shaken but not stirred Kiwis for their review.

  18. Good evening everybody.

    Usual nice Wednesday puzzle. I’ll nominate last in 1d as favourite clue.


  19. 3*/3*. I spent to day working in East London and couldn’t start on today’s puzzle until completing a dire journey home through Blackwall Tunnel. This was another enjoyable Wednesday puzzle, one which took me an equal amount of time to solve the first three quarters as it did to finish the NW corner. I was going to mention the double use of charge = fee, but inevitably I see Silvanus has beaten me to it!

    I was able to post comments without problem this morning for Monday’s and Tuesday’s puzzles but when I arrived home, once again, the site proved to be inaccessible. Touch wood it seems OK again now after, like Merusa, I had to pass the CloudFlare test. Long may it last.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  20. Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle, took for ever to get 16d although I saw the ground right off. Parsing 9a also problematic as I now pronounce the words quite differently, phonetically, floar and flaw.

    Thanks to BD and hints from NZ

  21. Golly gosh , a regular earthquake !! I was in Crete , ages ago, literally, and the earth shook , the locals didn’t care much , said it happened all the time. Then we all went back to drinking Metaxia.
    As to the crossword , I would agree with the ratings.
    Thanks Jay and our stalwart Kiwis.

  22. I found this more straightforward and somewhat less sparkling than is usual for a Wednesday but still very enjoyable. Favourite 16d I think. Thanks to Jay for the fun and to the 2Kiwis for the great review.

  23. Quite fun but over all too soon: 1*/3.5*. I liked my first in – 1d. Thanks to Jay, and of course to 2Ks.

  24. Good heavens – I passed the CloudFlare test and the blog appeared!
    Agree totally with the comments from Silvanus re: the absence of the site (since the weekend in my case) but have to say that I didn’t agree with him over the puzzle. I thought this was one of Jay’s best and picking the best of the best proved very difficult.
    In the end I settled for a top three comprising 5&7d for the surfaces and 12a for its simplicity.
    Only slight hold-up along the way was the couple of checkers I had in 18a making look for ‘shortage’ as the second word.

    Many thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks – we’re so glad that you are safe but you must be suffering for your fellow New Zealanders.

  25. Found this tougher than usual for a Wednesday, and further frustrated by not being able to access the site until just now. Makes you realize what a boon this site is when you get stuck. In the dark ages I would wait for the next moning’s paper to check the answers and try to figure out how the clues worked. But it was an enjoyable escape from washing nappies and making bottles back then. Thanks to to KiWis for hints, and a big hug to Big Dave for fighting off the marauders yet again. I tried several browsers to try and access earlier, and Bing gave me some tech talk about checking the cloud and never opened, something about DDoS service. Hope things settle down in NZ for the KiWis soon.

  26. I must be alone in finding Jay’s puzzles the hardest of the week.
    Thanks to the 2xK’s for the hits and Jay for the challenge

  27. P.S. Meant to say that I struggled with 20d, despite the fact that we saw one of these on our morning walk – he was slowly and cautiously approaching a garden statue of himself, and was quite mesmerized. As we walked away he was still standing there studying the statue. We see egrets all the time here, so no excuse for that not jumping off the page at me.

  28. How absolutely lovely that, for the moment anyway, all seems to be working again.
    Three :good: for BD and anyone else who has done anything helpful.

  29. Hello everyone. I’ve had terrible trouble trying to get in here over the past few days, but I’m back now, thank goodness. How I’ve missed you all. May I join all the others who have extended thanks to BD for the efforts he puts in on our behalf.
    Today’s Jay was the usual enjoyably smooth ride, a bit like my car when it’s not in the garage having thousands (yes, thousands) of pounds’ worth of remedial work inexpertly carried out by people with competence certificates plastered on the walls. I’m going to plump for 14a as my pick of the pops, but it could be almost any of the other clues – I do love a Jay puzzle.
    Many thanks to the Ks and I echo the good wishes of other commenters for all who are suffering down under (ooooh matron). 2*/4*

  30. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle from Jay as usual. I was held up in the NE corner, but got there eventually, last in was 2d. My favourite was 18a, super anagram. Was 2*/3* for me. Just passed the test on my phone browser, and here I am. I possibly logged on to this site, but it was years ago, so every time I go on the site, I don’t log in. Have had no problems over the last 7 days. Thank you Big Dave for keeping the site going.

  31. I’m so pleased to be able to get you back. I’ve tried all week and finally this morning I could catch up. Thank you so much for carrying on and getting this site back on line. I have missed you all. I log in every day to sort out my previous evening’s crosswording and to enjoy the read. BD you deserve a medal.

Comments are closed.