DT 28297 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28297

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28297

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****


Kia ora from Aotearoa.
Another Wednesday, another Jay puzzle. They do seem to come around quickly and we always look forward to them. Out the window we can see that it is raining again. We seem to be having more than our share of it lately but at least it is keeping all the gardeners and farmers happy. So as we write this, the house is filled with the wonderful smells of Christmas goodies being baked. 

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Essential details provided by supporters — lots (5,5)
BRASS TACKS : The often encountered undergarment supporters and an informal word meaning lots or heaps.

6a     Measure pace (4)
STEP : Double definition. The first definition could refer to a procedure taken to rectify a situation.

10a     Part of river Dee? (5)
DELTA : Another double definition. The second is the Greek equivalent of the letter in the clue.

11a     Start to pay a lease on mature stock (9)
PARENTAGE : The first letter of pay, then ‘A’ from the clue, a word meaning lease or hire and a word meaning mature or grow older.

12a     Meal that may be served up? (4,3)
HIGH TEA : It sounds like this repast is being served at altitude.

13a     Determined a time to employ staff after commercial (7)
ADAMANT : Start with a two letter word for a commercial, then ‘A’ from the clue and the abbreviation for time surround a word meaning to employ staff.

14a     Encourage hurtful story that’s kept out of newspaper? (5,7)
PRESS CUTTING : A word meaning encourage or urge on and an adjective that could be hurtful or disparaging.

18a     Hear terror is spreading — some may replace locks (4,8)
HAIR RESTORER : An anagram (spreading) of HEAR TERROR IS.

21a     Copy most of response, taking heart from vicar (7)
REPLICA : A synonym for a response loses its last letter and is followed by the three central letters (heart) of vicar.

23a     Jack ultimately has age and can nail constituent (7)
KERATIN : The last letter of Jack, then a lengthy period of time and a can or container.

24a     A person ignoring danger varies road speed (9)
DESPERADO : An anagram (varies) of ROAD SPEED.

25a     Black slime in drink (5)
BOOZE : The abbreviation for black and then slime or mud.

26a     European source of energy after reversing cut (4)
POLE : Cut as you might do to a tree branch, is reversed and then followed by the abbreviation for energy.

27a     Fellow twice taken in by patrolling sentries gets drinks (10)
STIFFENERS : The abbreviation for fellow is repeated and placed inside an anagram (patrolling) of SENTRIES.|


1d     Mate in America had developed godlike figure (6)
BUDDHA : An informal word that Americans might use for a pal and an anagram (developed) of HAD.

2d     Beer to welcome supporter, say, in accusing manner (6)
ALLEGE : The supporter this time is a lower limb and is inside a type of beer.

3d     Disorganised spread knocked on the head (14)
SCATTERBRAINED : Spread or disperse and an informal word for knocked on the head.

4d     Evaluates a page and expresses approval (9)
APPRAISES : ‘A’ from the clue, then the abbreviation for page followed by expresses approval or lauds.

5d     Mineral found within the borders of Kamchatka Peninsula (5)
KOREA : The first and last letters (borders) of Kamchatka surround a mineral from which a metal might be extracted.

7d     Drink most of time, welcoming a song (3,5)
TIA MARIA : The first three letters of time surround ‘A’ from the clue and then an operatic song. (Bet we weren’t the only ones searching for a type of tea.)

8d     Standing of inebriated priest, say, on the up (8)
PRESTIGE : An anagram (inebriated) of PRIEST and then the abbreviation that means say or for example is reversed.

9d     Embarrassing person better learn if swaggering around North (6,8)
ENFANT TERRIBLE : An anagram (swaggering) of BETTER LEARN IF includes the letter designating North.

15d     Register and turn left, oddly, for game (5-4)
CLOCK-GOLF : Register or notice, then a two letter word for a turn or a shot and the first and third letters of left.

16d     Stayed ahead after depositing gold in Slough (6,2)
SHORED UP : The heraldic word for gold is inside a word for slough or discard and then we have a two letter word meaning ahead.

17d     Phone about second point of sale and removal (8)
DISPOSAL : How you used to phone in the days when there was a circular thing to turn around with your finger. Inside this we have the abbreviation for second and the three letter abbreviation for ‘point of sale’.

19d     Perhaps butterfly‘s light touch (6)
STROKE : Double definition. The first might be seen in a swimming pool.

20d     A new set point, darlings! (6)
ANGELS : ‘A’ from the clue, then the abbreviation for new, set as a jelly does and then a compass point.

22d     A film role on its own (5)
APART : ‘A’ from the clue and a film role or character.

Lots of nice charades today. The one we enjoyed most was 16d.

Quickie pun     ferret    +    hale    =    fairy tale

64 comments on “DT 28297

  1. I found this one slightly trickier for a Wednesday, but excellent as always from Jay.
    I could not pick out one favourite as I enjoyed it all – however unfortunately for everyone around me, after putting in my answer to 12a, I have been whistling “I love to laugh” from Mary Poppins all morning !

    3*/5 – Many thanks to Jay, and to 2Kiwis.

  2. A **/*** for me , not heard of 15d, but the checking letters were enough of a clue.
    liked the surface of 7d and the cluing in general ,just an enjoyable crossword. Thanks to 2K’s for the pics-liked 9d and the resigned look on Teddy’s face !

  3. Really enjoyed this work-out which splendidly combined fun, general knowledge and lateral thinking. Thank you so much Jay and the 2Ks whose early appearance chez BD is always appreciated even when hints not really needed. So many great clues that I can’t single out any for special mention. I did enjoy battling with 9d. ***/*****.

  4. Loved the picture at 24ac but although Dan was desperate he was not a crook or a villian. There is a fine statue of Desperate Dan in Dundee which is worth a google. I remember him asking Aunt Aggie to knit his vests out of barbed wire because wool itched. I Remember him bending gas lamps to light his cigars. I remember him shaving with a blow lamp and I remember those cow pies complete with horns and tails. The crossword wasn’t bad either. Ta to all.

    1. I remember Yosser Hughes in Boys from the Black Stuff when he was in church in the confession booth, speaking through the screen to the priest who had introduced himself as Dan. Yosser was at rock-bottom after becoming jobless, skint, being evicted and having his three kids taken into care. After a while, he lamented to the clergyman: “I’m desperate, Dan!”

      1. I remember this confessional very well and the look on Yosser’s face when he realised what he had just said- I think he head butted the booth for good effect !

    2. I remember cow pies and am nostalgic for the comics that were such a big part of my childhood.

      I don’t think children, my own or the current younger generation, have the same comic icons, or do they? Not in print media anyway.

      Everything is so anodyne nowadays.

    3. I once ordered a Desperate Dan beef pie from a Black Country pub to be met with the question “Arfa Wheat?”. Very confusing. Several repeated queries later – all of which elicited the same response – a different bartender stood in and explained it was going to take 30 minutes and did I mind waiting?

      1. That would be Mad O Rourke’s Pie Factory in Tipton Mark. The pastry toppings had pastry horns and a pastry tail.

        1. I looked at the website. Building was vaguely familiar but certainly rather more garish now than then. It was the day Linford Christie won gold at the 1992 Olympics. I vaguely recall the pub being called The Dun Cow, though, or something similar.

          Thank Goodness we don’t see too many Black County words/phrases in crosswords! That could be truly challenging.

  5. I thought this was a very good crossword from Jay and certainly trickier than usual.
    1a was my favourite and 3/4* overall.
    Thanks to Jay, and to the Kiwis in the rain.

  6. A fun puzzle, not too tricky but enjoyable. Never heard of 15d before but easy enough to work out from the clue. Favourites were 9d and 27a. 3*/3.5* Many thanks to Jay and to 2Kiwis

  7. An enjoyable cranial workout with some head scratching and a need for some electronic assistance on a few clues – 2.5*/3*.

    Long favourite 14a, short favourite 1d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  8. I enjoyed 1a and 18a and 27a.
    3D kept me occupied for some time vainly trying to come up with an anagram. The clue could have been one long indicator…..but it wasn’t…….
    Thx to Jay and the Kiwis.

  9. Thanks to Jay for a thoroughly enjoyable workout this morning and to 2Kiwis for a nice review.

    Some really delightful clues today. So many received a tick as I solved, I could almost nominate a dozen favourites. Which won’t do.

    14a parses beautifully. Likewise 23a and 27a. 1d, 3d, 7d, 16d, 19d….

    Before I actually do get to a dozen, COTD is shared (which gets me to ten) by the equally brilliant 10a and 5d

  10. 3*/4.5*. Excellent stuff as ever on a Wednesday with lovely concise cluing. Like the 2Ks I was convinced for quite a while that the first word of 7d must be “tea”.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  11. A really enjoyable Wednesday crossword – I also thought it was trickier than usual and several had me scratching my head for ages.
    3d was my last but one answer, having tried and failed to turn it into an anagram, and once I got that then 10a, my last one, was obvious.
    I’ve never heard of 15d or the three letters meaning ‘point of sale’ in 17d.
    I liked 14 and 23a and 20d, which also took ages. My favourite was 3d.
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s.

    1. Kath you are probably more familiar with POS as part of EFTPOS. The EFT part is Electronic Funds Transfer. BRB does list POS as a stand-alone abbreviation though.

        1. That’s a surprise. What term do people use in the UK when they pay for something with a plastic card that is not a credit one? It is always called EFTPOS here.

          1. We call ours the card machine. Most outlets also call for the card machine. POS over here refers more to the stuff they try to get you to buy at the check outs or point of sale or the material that advertises goods at their point of sale. We get boxes of posters and gimmicky things to put behind our bar but they mostly go in the bin.

          2. I think you probably mean what we call a ‘debit card’. It means that stuff is paid for and whatever it has cost comes straight out of your account. There are now what we call ‘contactless’ cards so you don’t need to put in a PIN – you just need to hover around really – all very confusing.
            What it really means is that you, and for that read ‘I’, never feel as if I’m spending any money – Chris doesn’t always see it that way . . . Oh dear. :unsure:

            1. Yes all those things apply here too but when someone here is paying in this way it is usually called ‘paying by Eftpos’ and the word often gets used as a verb too and people talk about buying something and ‘Eftpossing it’. Language pedants consider this to be beyond the pale.

  12. Was ok but I found many of the clues a little contrived. Still don’t know why clock would be register, not in the BRB. Thought 16d was a poor clue. Top half far superior to the clunky bottom. My favourite was 10a.
    Thx for the hints esp for explaining the swimming bit of 19d which totally passed me by.

    1. Brian – Clock is in the listing for register in the Small Red Book. My recollection is that if a person ‘clocks’ something, they see and take notice of it. So, it ‘registers’ with them. Slightly tenuous perhaps and probably something to do with clock being a slang term for face.

    2. There is another possibility – ‘clock’ is also a registering of speed/time as in ‘he was clocked at 100 mph’. When I parsed it, though, ‘notice’ is what came to mind as 2Kiwi’s and Senf have observed

      1. I took clock as ” To clock in ” (register your arrival”) as one used to do for work and some still do up here int north !!!!

  13. Thanks to 2Kiwis for the help – I was as desperate as Dan and needed all the help I could get. Just couldn’t seem to get on the same wavelength as Jay, and have to say I didn’t really enjoy it.

  14. Definitely found a few tricky bits – 3,5&7d being the culprits.
    Hadn’t heard of the 15d game – does it still have a following?

    Podium spots going to 3&19d.

    Thanks to Jay and our 2Ks. Have just received a Christmas letter from my old school-friend in Porirua – seems they’ve had a struggle with the local transport system there following the recent quakes and storms although her property fortunately survived intact.

    1. We built a garden with a circular lawn and a few visitors mentioned the game at 15d. Children’s play and sunning oneself with a gin and tonic are what lawns are for

  15. An enjoyable battle which I did not win, like others 20 down had me baffled, kept thinking of tennis. Thank you to setter and the two kiwis in the rain, it is a lovely sunny day here in Cheltenham.

  16. As always a most enjoyable crossword from Jay.

    But in what way is “stayed” a synonym of the answer to 16d?

    Thanks to our two antipodeans for the blog and nominating 16d as their favourite. Oh! Dear! as someone once said!

    (5d picture – Who turned the lights off in North Korea?)

    1. Re 16d, a stay can be a rope, tie-piece or crossbar which can be used to support or shore-up a structure.

  17. Lovely puzzle, fun all the way. I don’t think I can choose a fave, but 3d would be high on the list.
    I needed a bunch of checking letters to get the anagram at 9d.
    The drink at 7d is Jamaican, so it came easily to me.
    Last in was 19d, I think I’ve been taken in by that butterfly before.
    Thanks to Jay, and to the 2Kiwis for the hints and pics.

  18. Liked this one very much though I struggled with the SE corner and needed help with 23a, 20d & 19d. I was trying hard to get ‘Kerouac’ to work for me. I couldn’t. You beat me, Jay, but thanks for a fair bruising. Thanks to the pair of Ks for the help. Now… to check out Desperado Dan on Google.

  19. I’ve been getting on well with Jay crosswords recently, but today I was not at all on the right wavelength and made use of a few of the 2K’s excellent hints. But still as enjoyable as ever on a Wednesday. One or other of the two smooth charades 11a or 16d would be my favourite, but I can’t decide which.

    Thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis.

  20. Very tricky. I’m usually on the same wavelength as Jay, but not today it seems. Struggled through but needed 2kiwis hint for 15d. Nice tussle but I think I’ll have a lie down for a bit to recoup my energy!

  21. Absolutely superb, so many excellent clues that it’s hard to single out specific ones for particular praise, but I’ve chosen 14a,18a and 9d in the end. Such was the quality on show, that I’ll even overlook the three examples of “after” being used as a positional indicator!

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  22. What a splendid puzzle! It took me a while to get into the way it was clued but once on the right wavelength it was very rewarding. My favourites were 1&10a and 7&16d. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks for the review. Unusually cold for us this week and may see minus 20 with wind chill. Walking the dogs in an underground car park is on the cards 😀

  23. I enjoyed this one very much. After the first pass I had five cross clues and a couple of downs, then pennies started crashing to the floor at a steady pace. 23 across my favourite of many finely constructed clues, and overall 2*/4* seems about right.

    Many thanks to the three birds involved today.

  24. Morning all.
    When we had finished our blogging duties and before starting the Dada Toughie we treated ourselves to a geography lesson by Googling Kamchatka Peninsula. An interesting part of the world that we knew nothing about.
    Our weather here has not decided yet what sort of Thursday it is going to give us. There does look to be more rain as part of the mix though. Enjoy what is left of your Wednesday. :bye:

  25. Quite an emphasis on drink in this puzzle with 4 references.
    I also found it quite tricky with 5d going in last.
    3d was my first in, unsurprisingly.
    1a is my favourite .
    Thanks to both Kiwis and Jay.

  26. Learned a new expression in 1a.
    And wasn’t sure about 16d as I thought the definition was stayed ahead. Managed to convince myself that shored up was the answer. BD is so right. When you can’t parse it you probably got it wrong somewhere or words to that effect.
    Will need to check if Desperate Dan exists in France. His picture doesn’t ring a bell.
    Thanks to Jay for the fun and to 2kiwis for the review.

    1. Is this Monsieur Cheval in disguise?


      (I’m sure that this was first posted by a certain “Luc Horse”

      Must stop drinking! Mon Dieu!

  27. A tad trickier than some recent offerings , but a pleasure to do . Thanks Jay some super clues ***/**** 1a and 19d my favourites , 16d not so .Danke the 2Ks

  28. I did this in little moments of snatched time throughout the day. As such, it was hard to gauge difficulty, but the high quality of clueing shone through and made it an enjoyable diversion in many parts.

    15d rang only a faint bell but that was enough. It helped that I did clock the required meaning of the first word.

    A quick glance at the clues now compels me to nominate 27a as favourite. I enjoyed the boozy nature of the puzzle today, and like others grinned when I realised that 7d was something a little stronger than tea. I do like the occasional slurp.

    I also like 3d mainly for the answer – I can be rather catterbrained at times.

    Many thanks to Jay and the wet antipodeans.

  29. Struggled today, Jay setting a trickier than usual Wednesday, or perhaps my wavelength thingy is on the blink today. Never heard of 27a drinks, and 16d was an odd answer for stayed. 14a was favorite. Got to go and and make the mince pies now. Local stores no longer carry mincemeat, but luckily found at a British food shop about 30 minutes away. Amazon could not promise until December 23 by which time I would be so stressed it does not bear thinking about.

  30. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, but found it very tricky. Needed the hints for 14&25a and 5,7,15,20d. Favourite was 23a. Was 4*/3* for me.

  31. Love this blog. I’m new to cryptics so struggle. One hard but is spotting the ‘confirmation,answer, word(s) in the clue. You guys helpfully underline them to help me on my way. Wish the DT could do the same! Or maybe you could just do a list – with clue number direction- so I can see them without the rest of your hint for when if I’m feeling weak, or just dumb and give in before my time.
    I’d be lost without your help though so I ain’t complaining. Keep it up

    1. Welcome from me too, Dom.

      Offering a list of clues with the definitions underlined but no hints is an intriguing idea. Certainly the way to get good at cryptics is to use just enough help to get the answer, but no more. If there are others out there who would find that intermediate level of help useful helpful I’d be willing to give it try next Tuesday. I think I could make it as a big picture hidden under a spoiler box so it wouldn’t get in the way of the rest of the blog.

      Lurkers, please let us know what you think.

  32. Tougher than the usual Jay and took longer than I would have liked at this time of night, but I’m not complaining. Some terrific (and terrifying) clues. I’m plumping for 5d as my top pick, simply because it sent me in so many directions before I found the right one. Thanks to the Ks and Jay 3*/4*

  33. Did not have time to try this yesterday, so had a crack at it this morning….what a disaster.
    Just could not do this one at all.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis for the invaluable hints.
    (I think you have shown afternoon tea rather than high tea, though)

    I used to love Desperate Dan…..and Beryl the Peril, Minnie the Minx and Rodger the Dodger and…..I could go on but I’ll restrain myself.
    Long live D C Thomson !

  34. This one was significantly more challenging and therefore better than the normal Wednesday offering. Excellent and enjoyable. 3*/4*.

Comments are closed.