DT 28285 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28285

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28285

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****


Kia ora from Aotearoa. 
Here’s something for those who enjoy Googling places. Carol has just spent a few days on Matiu/Somes Island with a group of friends. This small island is right in the middle of Wellington harbour and has spent much of its history being a human or animal quarantine station and some as a war-time internment camp. In the last couple of decades it has been open to the public and is being developed as a wildlife sanctuary. It now even has a thriving colony of Tuatara. Despite windy conditions she and her friends had a great time.

A slightly harder Jay puzzle for us to blog today.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Gloomy American’s angry about graduate physician (6)
SOMBRE : An American word meaning angry or disgruntled surrounds a degree that a doctor may have.

4a     Solicitor’s unexpected approach? (4,4)
COLD CALL : A cryptic definition for an uninvited approach by somebody selling something.

10a     European country backed by money from Yorkshire eatery (9)
BRASSERIE : Reverse a name for the country across the Irish Sea and put this after an informal Yorkshire word for money.

11a     Female pinched by many in the air (5)
ALOFT : A 1,3 phrase for many includes the abbreviation for female.

12a     Leader of Tories with excuse for disloyalty (7)
TREASON : The first letter of Tories and then a synonym for an excuse.

13a     Synthetic hair worn by mother and daughter (3-4)
MAN-MADE : Hair as found on a horse or a lion surrounds a two letter informal word for mother and the abbreviation for daughter.

14a     A famous actor runs to take the lead as religious follower (5)
RASTA : Start with ‘A’ from the clue and any famous actor and then move the last letter ‘R’ to the beginning.

15a     Boundary dispute — back both sides to come first (8)
HEDGEROW : A three letter word for a dispute or tiff follows a word that means to cover one’s options by supporting both sides.

18a     Fancy it, say, with her neurotic disorder (8)
HYSTERIA : An anagram (fancy) of IT SAY HER.

20a     Unable to sleep needing a wash (5)
AWAKE : ‘A’ from the clue and the wash created by a moving vessel.

23a     Super oddly breaking laws — lies awkwardly (7)
SPRAWLS : The first, third and fifth letters of super, and then an anagram (breaking) of LAWS.

25a     Study in bed, covered in crumbs! (7)
BREADED : Study as one does at university is inside bed from the clue.

26a     Picture review printed within cover of issue (5)
IMAGE : A shortened form of a word for a printed review or periodical is inside the first and last letters of issue.

27a     I need bill to be adjusted, but it’s fixed (9)
INDELIBLE : An anagram (to be adjusted) of I NEED BILL.

28a     First part of site to be in leaf (4,4)
HOME PAGE : Where one is when one is said to be ‘in’, and a leaf as found in a book.

29a     Coming a day before opening (6)
ADVENT : ‘A’ from the clue, the abbreviation for day and then an opening or slit.


1d     Call for help interrupted by British politician’s tale of woe (3,5)
SOB STORY : The Morse code call for help includes the abbreviation for British and then a right wing politician.

2d     People not satisfied with answer given in dodgy sermon (7)
MOANERS : An anagram (dodgy) of SERMON includes the abbreviation for answer.

3d     Rave around sites for development is unaffected (9)
RESISTANT : An anagram (for development) of SITES is inside a synonym for rave.

5d     Never look for mourners here (4,2,4,4)
OVER MY DEAD BODY : Where the setter could expect mourners to be at some time in the future. (A very very long time we hope)

6d     Sketched river during daybreak (5)
DRAWN : A word for daybreak includes the abbreviation for river.

7d     A very old cheese and dill ordered for starters — and fruit (7)
AVOCADO : The first letters of seven words in the clue.

8d     Lost title? Right to have kittens (6)
LITTER : An anagram (lost) of TITLE and the abbreviation for right.

9d     Saucy embellishment of haute couture? (6,8)
FRENCH DRESSING : The language of haute couture and what it concerns. (That was much easier to solve than it was to compose a hint!)

16d     Screamed head off about tag and put a coat on (9)
ENAMELLED : Find a synonym for screamed or shouted and remove its first letter and inside this put a synonym for a tag or label.

17d     Vagrant‘s gone round for policeman (8)
DEADBEAT : A word meaning gone or extinct and then a round walked by a policeman.

19d     Branch of police HQ that may be rigged? (4-3)
YARD-ARM :  The police headquarters that is usually preceded by ‘Scotland’, and then a branch or department.

21d     Heard beer includes acceptable offer turning up (7)
AUDIBLE : A type of beer includes the single letter signifying acceptable and the reversal of an offer that could be made at an auction.

22d     Book is excellent — a source of happiness (6)
ISAIAH : ‘Is’ from the clue, then two letters signifying top quality, ‘A’ from the clue and the first letter of happiness.

24d     Women needing assistance, seeing impudent young lad (5)
WHELP : The abbreviation for women and a word for assistance.

We particularly enjoyed working out 13a so that is today’s favourite.

Quickie pun    gross    +    hurries    =    groceries


59 comments on “DT 28285

  1. I had some spare time today, so did this one early and decided it was worthy of comment. I found it better than the average Monday – Wednesday offering, being quite challenging with some excellent clues and an enjoyable solve. I got stymied for a while by the NE quadrant. 3*/3.5*.

  2. 3.5*/4*. This was very enjoyable and I thought I was heading for completion in 2* time until I got held up in the SE corner which took my overall time up to almost 4*. 17d was my last one in.

    There was the usual high standard of cluing throughout as we have come to expect on a Wednesday, and I ended up with double ticks for 4a, 13a, 5d and, my favourite, the outstanding 9d.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  3. 2*/4* for me. Another splendid offering from the Wednesday Wizard. Last in, and favourite, 4a,

    Many thanks to Jay, and to the 2Kiwis.

  4. Definitely trickier than the usual Wednesday fare but hugely enjoyable. Too many good clues to pick a favourite, Thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis.

  5. Trickier than a normal Wednesday offering and I needed the hints for the SE corner. Some very clever clues and quite enjoyable. 3.5*/3*. Many thanks to Jay and to 2Kiwis for the much needed hints.

  6. Pleasantly testing with a bit of a hiccup in the SW where 28a and 24d held out for a while. 17d also fazed me. Fav was 5d with 9d running up. Thank you Jay and 2Ks. ***/***.

  7. Firstly, I would like to ‘sneak in’ a big thank you to everyone for the very kind and greatly appreciated comments on my first effort at blogging yesterday. I look forward to more blogging, provided that I can continue to solve the puzzles.

    Now to the business of today’s puzzle. I was doing quite nicely for a Wednesday Jay, a little more than average difficulty perhaps, and then I got completely ‘stuck’ on 15a and 17d. I have no idea why, but I was trying to solve 15a as (4,4) instead of a single word and, shamelessly, I had to resort to all sorts of electronic assistance to solve 17d.

    Equal favourites – 5d and 9d. Any high letter count answer that is not an anagram will be an automatic favourite for me, and the clues for these two were very good as are the 2Ks’ hints.

    Overall ***/***. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  8. Interesting puzzle today, a game of two halves east wentin quite quickly then as they say it went slightly pear shaped. Perseverance prevailed with some Roget assistance.
    Definately***/*** for me today.
    A walk on the cliffs will ever called for on a glorious day, and for the first time I am going to attempt the toughie some chance.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  9. Glad to see that others have found this one more difficult than usual…as I certainly did.

    Needed the hints for 16d and 17d but I think tht this is an improvement for me as I often need more than 2 hints on a Wednesday.

    Many thanks to the 2Kiwis and to the setter.

  10. Mostly straightforward except for a handful of clues that held out rather stubbornly pushing my solve into 2* time.

    Thanks to the 2Kiwis and to Jay **/****

  11. A quite marvelous crossword, with smiles all the way. I had a few struggles in the SE corner right at the end, needing one peek at the electronic BRB to get 17d. In hindsight that shouldn’t have been necessary but I fell for the misdirection in the clue. Biggest smile from 5d, so that has to be my favourite.

    Thanks to Jay and to both Kiwis. Did you see a tuatara in the wild? That would be a thrill.

    1. Yes indeed. Nighttime torch-lit expeditions produced results and three tuatara were found. As you probably know they are not usually fast movers so there was plenty of time to observe them closely. A real thrill.

  12. Hard for me – 17d in particular had me foxed…..but a very good and enjoyable puzzle…..I particularly liked 14a

  13. I liked “first part of site” (28a) although the “to be” felt awkward. I liked 9d when it clicked. 25a is my favourite, guess you have had to be there. SE was hardest for me too.

    Many thanks 2Kiwis and Jay

  14. Excellent fare today and am going for a 2.5*/4*. Liked the neat cluing which required a bit of lateral thought -like 4a,28a and 13a.
    Well done to Jay and the 2K’S- loved the 23a pic !

  15. I agree that this was trickier than some, or even most, Wednesday crosswords.
    Not counting the one I never did get, 17d, 4a was my last answer and 15a wasn’t far ahead of that.
    I spent too long thinking that the ‘crumbs’ in 25a was something like ‘blimey’ as Jay goes in for that kind of clue.
    I liked too many of these to put them all down so just a few are 13 and 20a and 1d. My favourite is either 5 or 9d.
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s.
    A bit nippy around Oxford – down to -5C last night.

  16. Add me to the list who struggled with 17d. Once I used a pen to write it out horizontally it leapt off the page. 5d was tricky too. Thanks to Jay for a great puzzle and thanks to The 2Ks for the blog.

      1. I never banned nothing but I so rarely use anything other than my pointer finger that when I do I feel I have to own up. Down clues with checkers are easier to solve when written horizontally.

  17. You can add my name to the list of those who struggled with 5a and 17d, otherwise completed in a good time. There’s always somebody trying to spoil things!

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2K’s.

    (I also wasted a good few minutes trying to work out the Quickie pun of “Grow Syphons”.)

    1. I like your Quickie answer to 4a but wonder what your resultant solutions to 5d and 6d might be or are you like me and don’t necessarily continue with the puzzle once the pun is solved?

  18. Superb stuff from our elegant Wednesday cluesmith, this has to be up there with the best of Jay’s puzzles I reckon.

    13a and 17d both foxed me for some time, until the respective pennies dropped, so they were more than deserving of a tick, as were 5d and 19d.

    Many thanks to Mr. Mutch and to the 2Ks. I had no idea what tuatara were until I Googled them, what fascinating creatures they are!

    1. I googled tuatara on google images and one of the pictures was a tuatara eating weta so I googled Weta and got lots of pictures of weta bugs. Not even the British and Irish Lions Tours have coaxed me into visiting New Zealand (or Australia). I think I will stay on these shores for now but thanks anyway

  19. Finished but this was definitely a trickier Jay puzzle that required a fair bit of grappling. Usual high quality puzzle on a Wednesday. A breaking bad feel to the clues that brought a wry smile to me, especially 5d and 17d which were my favourites.

  20. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable but tricky puzzle. Superb clueing. Needed the hints to parse 7d. Last in was 13a, my favourite was 5d. Was 3*/4* for me.

  21. I know it’s often a wavelength thing but I must have been on the right one today, or perhaps it’s because I blogged about eighty Jay puzzles when I was the Wednesday man, but I didn’t find this in the least tricky. Eleven acrosses and all but two downs on first pass :smile: That gets it a */**** from me. 5d was probably favourite amongst a lot of great stuff as usual from the Wednesday Wizard.

    Ta mutchly to Jay and the Kiwis.

  22. ***/****. A very well clued puzzle with lots of a-ha moments. I never got 22d so thanks to the 2Ks for the enlightenment. Thanks also to Jay for the entertainment and the challenge. We’ve now had only 6 dry days in over 60. So waterproofs again for the walk.

  23. Yes, Kiwis, I immediately googled your island and the tuatara. I love those excursions to exotic places and animals.
    Tricky, tricky today, but like M’pops, by writing down 17d, it solved itself.
    Last in was 4a, I had to get help from gizmo for that, I hadn’t heard that name for them before, we call them spam calls!
    Loved 5d and 9d, but there were many others well deserving of mention, 1d and 19d for example, but I could go on and on.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis, this was a fun solve.

  24. Excellent puzzle from Jay which had me shame-facedly admitting to difficulty with spelling 22d and pondering for a very long time over the misleading 17d.
    5&9d topped my list of ticks and I had a fondness for 25a and several others.

    Many thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks – Matiu/Somes Island looks a wonderful place to visit.

    Off with reference books in hand to tackle the Osmosis!

    1. I had difficulty spelling 22d, then I just did what Jay told me to do! “Is AI a, then source of happiness.”

      1. A1
        adjective: A1; adjective: A One
        very good or well; excellent.
        “guitar, A1 condition”
        (of a vessel in Lloyd’s Register of Shipping) equipped to the highest standard; first-class.

        It is the letter A followed by the number1 which in puzzleland gives the letters A and I Merusa. I always thought it was a medical classification used to describe fitness in the army but there is no mention of that in the definition above.

  25. Like Kath and Merusa,,my last one was 4a. Silly really as articles about these have made the front page of the DT on a number of occasions.
    Took me ages until the big clang.
    Favourite 5d.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis. Off to surf the web for the creatures.

  26. Good morning all. Looks like most people found this one much as we did. A bit trickier than usual and good fun.
    As Dutch mentioned above, we remember both tuatara and weta appearing in crosswords in the past. The name weta has become much better known in the world since the movie special effects company based in Wellington called themselves Weta Workshop. Weta are quite large really fearsome looking creatures and despite Miffypop’s reservations, are quite harmless and benign. It has become a classic image to show the remains of one sticking out of a tuatara’s mouth. The tuatara was wide spread throughout NZ in pre-human times but is now only found on a very few predator free off-shore islands. Although they look like lizards they are much older than modern lizards and are a relic that has survived unchanged from early dinosaur times. A true national treasure.
    A fine day just dawning here (for a change), so looks like walks and golf are going to be on the programme for our official first day of summer.
    Cheers. :wave:

    1. Miffypops is frightened of nothing with two legs (not even Saint Sharon). Nothing with four legs. Nothing with six legs and everything with eight legs except crabs and scorpions.

      1. Well you would be quite happy with weta then. They are definitely six legged insects, actually related to beetles we understand, but are wingless.

  27. After struggling Monday & Tuesday I found today’s puzzle much easier 🙂 **/*** Liked 5d & 15a Many thanks to 2x Ks and to Jay 😍 As I have remarked previously it is the truly International flavour of this blog that I enjoy so much 😄

  28. Being different again, I thought this was easily the easiest of the week so far – barring that 17d. Having to get a move on in the morning, I had the choice of leaving it blank (and being assured that the app would not retain my other answers) or using electronic help. I opted for the latter.

    I loved the crossword, though, and will pick as my top three, 25a, 28a and 5d.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  29. Ditto to Jaylegs and Kitty, I found this puzzle much easier than Monday or Tuesday, and lots of excellent clues. Favourite was 5d, just because I love those funny clues. The first half, all north, went right in, and the south end was slower, with 16d and 21d slowing me up until I read 2Kiwis hints, thanks! A very satisfying puzzle from Jay.

  30. For the most part this felt pretty easy, but then I got stuck for an age on 17d at the end. Much to appreciate today :-)

  31. Late starting because our new gardener started today and that took up most of afternoon. Found this tricky but very worthwhile with some lovely penny-drop moments. Favourite has to be 5d but there are several others which almost got there but did require gratefully received help of 2Kiwis to explain why. Thanks also to Jay.

  32. A jolly little puzzle, just into 2* difficulty and say 3.5* for enjoyment. I enjoyed 15a particularly. Thanks to Jay, and to the 2 Kiwis.

  33. Unlike most I found this much easier than yesterday, apart from 17d, which I needed e-help for – but other than that all done without recourse to the dictionary. On the wavelength of Jay is most odd for me!!

  34. As ever, I needed a couple of hints to keep me going.
    14a is a great example of why I find these types of a clue a struggle, I would never in 100 years have thought that “runs to take the lead” would mean move the ‘R’ of ‘STAR’ to the front!!!
    I thought there were some great clues, 5d and 9d, fav was 19d, was not fooled by ‘rigged’ for one minute!
    Thanks to Jay and 2xK.

  35. After struggling on Monday and Tuesday while most others breezed through, I found this one from my favourite setter a doddle, sprinkled with sparkling clues, a bit of GK, a couple of gimmees and the sheer brilliance of 25a. Thanks to the Ks – you do get about a bit – and Mr Mutch for brightening the chilly end to my day. My central heating has no timer function, so it’s as cold as a well-digger’s arse (thanks, Tom Waits) when I get in at night and when I awake long after most people have already been at work/golf for hours. 1*/4*

  36. Coming to this so late I cannot add much by way of meaningful comment, other than to endorse the average view that this was a really enjoyable and slightly tougher than usual Wednesday puzzle. 3*/4* from me with belated thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  37. Very amusing and clever puzzle-14A and 5D stand out for me.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  38. A prodigiously fine offering. Loved it but took me a while longer than norm.
    Thank you Jay for a nice workout.

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