DT 28310 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28310

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28310

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

I hope you’ve all managed to survive the festive season with less of a hangover than me.  That’s what you get if you go to Benidorm for four days!  However I seem to still have sufficient brain cells left to crack this rather nice puzzle from RayT without too much trouble.  

There are four anagrams to give you a good start and nothing to frighten the horses so I’m hoping the comments will be favourable. 

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Anxious, perhaps even worried about one (12) 
APPREHENSIVE:  Anagram (worried) of PERHAPS EVEN with an I inserted (about one).  Hands up all those who, like me, started out by trying an anagram (perhaps) of EVEN WORRIED and I.

9a           Clone particle spinning around electron briefly (9)
REPLICATE:  Another anagram (spinning) of PARTICLE and an E (Electron briefly).

10a         Sharp old negative contains edges of tint (5)
NATTY:  Sharp as in smart or dapper.  It’s an old-fashioned word for no put around (contains) a double T (edges of TinT)

11a         Solitary island faces empty inlet (6)
HERMIT:  One of the smaller Channel Islands followed by IT (empty InleT).

12a         Dance with passion joining new company (8)
FLAMENCO: Charade of a word meaning passion or heat, N(ew) and the usual two letter company.

13a         Aspen is common without upper-class (6) 
POPLAR:  A word meaning common or well-liked has the letter denoting upper class removed (without). If you want to know what that letter is then U as in U or non-U

15a         One’s in rush after Conservative whip, say (8)
CHASTISE:  Start with C for Conservative and follow (after) with a word meaning rush.  Into that lot you need to insert (in) an I (one) not forgetting the S.

18a         Alternative drainage needed for plant (8)
GARDENIA:  Anagram (alternative) of DRAINAGE.

19a         Chaste but gettin’ close, reportedly (6)
VIRGIN:  Gettin’ close indicates remove a G from the end of something.  You need a set of letters which aren’t a word but if pronounced would sound like a word meaning getting close and remove the G.  One of those easier to solve than to hint.

21a         One runs small computer peripheral (8)
SPRINTER:  S(mall) followed by a piece of computer hardware.

23a         Pull head of radish stuck in soil (6)
STRAIN:  Put an R (head of Radish) into (stuck in) a word meaning to soil or make dirty.

26a         Looking at some money in gamble (5)
EYING:  A lurker lurking in (some) the next three words.

27a         Flipping partner can start to get repulsive (9)
REVOLTING:  Start with a sexual partner and reverse him or her (flipping).  Follow that with another word for a can and a G (start to Get).

28a         Show possibly entertains with endless pop (12)
PRESENTATION:  Anagram (possibly) of ENTERTAINS and POP but without the last letter (endless)


1d           Zeppelin tune’s welcome on piano (7)
AIRSHIP:  A word for a tune (don’t forget the S) followed by an informal greeting (welcome) and finally the letter denoting quiet in musical notation.  Here’s a Zeppelin . . .

. . . and here’s a Zeppelin tune . . .

2d           One prints articles perhaps enraging readers initially (5)
PAPER:  First letters (initially) of the previous five words. 

3d           Take out bird in exclusive surroundings (9)
ELIMINATE:  One of the myriad spellings of a tropical starling of Southeast Asia is inserted (in) a word meaning exclusive.

4d           English cow perhaps produces cheese (4)
EDAM:  E(nglish) followed by a word for a mother. I suppose a ewe or nanny goat would have worked just as well.

5d           Furtive and bashful, embracing bird on time (8)
STEALTHY:  A word for bashful is placed around (embracing) a small duck and T(ime).  The duck’s also a rather horrible greenish-blue colour.

6d           Harm one violently bottling up poison (5)
VENOM:  The second lurker. It’s hidden in (bottling) the first three words but it’s backwards (up in a down clue).

7d           Reputation   still  rising (8)
STANDING:  Something we don’t see very often, a triple definition.  Took me an embarrassingly long time to work out what the middle word doing there, d’oh!

8d           In lay-by, go near to get past (6)
BYGONE:  The third lurker.  Hard to spot but it’s in “lay-by, go near”.

14d         Realist oddly supports Left in painting (8)
PORTRAIT:  Alternate letters (oddly) from ReAlIsT go after (supports in a down clue) a word meaning left to a sailor.

16d         Bit unwell encased by cast in suffering (9)
SCINTILLA:  Not the past tense of bite but a small amount.  It’s a word for unwell put into (encased by) an anagram (suffering) of CAST IN.

17d         Weapons companies checking each rifle’s tip (8)
FIREARMS:  Some companies, not CO for once but companies of solicitors perhaps, are put around (checking) an abbreviation of each and and R (Rifle’s tip).

18d         Cinders follows Charming’s rear and splits (6)
GASHES:  The cinders left in the grate when the fire’s gone out follow G (CharminG‘s rear).

20d         No bother about figure (7)
NONAGON: NO (from the clue) followed by a word for to bother or get at and a two letter word for about.

22d         Country‘s queen mostly coming from the south (5)
NIGER:  Latin for Queen (the R in ER) without the last letter (mostly) is reversed (from the south in a down clue) to give a West African country. 

24d         Excuse of a party, formerly independent (5)
ALIBI:  Start with A (from the clue) then an abbreviation of an old political party and finally I(ndependent).  Is RayT having a slight dig at the political party?

25d         Part of stove, naturally (4)
OVEN: The last lurker is hidden in (part of) stove naturally.

Quite a few I liked but the stand-out favourite for me was the splendid 7d.

The Quick Crossword pun: vile+link+ace=violin case

63 comments on “DT 28310

  1. 2*/4*. Normal service has been resumed today with a classic Ray T puzzle, not too tough but very enjoyable.

    The wonderful triple definition in 7d gets my vote as favourite, but 18d got the biggest laugh.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to pommers.

  2. I found this one a tad stiff & my rating would put it at ***/**** no real stand outs for me but did like 28A. Many thanks to the setter & to Pommers for his review.

  3. Tale of two halves top went in in almost record time. Slow progress on bottom meant average time overall. LOI was 19a. Classic “Why didn’t I see that before?”
    Like RD 7d COTD for me. A 3 word triple definition brilliant.
    Thanks to Ray T for the enjoyment & Pommers for insightful hints.

  4. Light and fluffy from Ray T , and very enjoyable.I thought there were more anagrams and lurkers than usual.
    My favourite is 19a.
    Thanks pommers and Ray T.

  5. I beg to differ, RD – much better than normal!

    Like Graham I found this a tad stiff at the end, which is good. I can’t see how frightened the horses are, only that they are being ridden by horsepeople of the apocalypse.

    I enjoyed too many clues to bother to list. Appropriately, 19a held out for the longest. 18d put me in mind of Roald Dahl’s wonderful Revolting Rhymes.

    Many thanks to RayT (I trust you’ve booked your tickets for the birthday bash?) and to pommers (who I also hope to see, with pomette of course, at one of the gatherings before too long).

  6. A fairly easy puzzle from Ray T today but very enjoyable. 1a, 15a and 5d were my favourites. 1.5*/3.5* Many thanks to both Ray T and Pommers.

  7. Lovely stuff from the easier end of Mr. T’s spectrum although I confess to trying the wrong fodder for 1a and wondering what ‘still’ was doing in 7d.
    Think 7d takes the laurels with many others close behind – notably 10&13a.

    The usual devotions to Mr. T and a very happy new year to you. As Kitty said – have you booked your birthday bash tickets yet?

    Thanks also to the suffering Pommers – beg to differ with your opinion of the Teal’s plumage.

  8. More enjoyable today. A top half that went in quite quickly and a bottom half that required more thought but all solved well in the end. Some very smooth surfaces. Getting 1a at the first go certainly helped with plenty of starting letters as a result.

    I hadn’t spotted the triple definition in 7d which certainly deserves to be mentioned in despatches. Highlights among many delights also include 18d, 19a and 20d which is superb. 16d is COTD, though.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to pommers for overcoming the post-Benidorm daze.

  9. Not too difficult if you look at the clue, identify the part that matters and ignore the flimflam surrounding it. As always with Ray T puzzles it is tedious and clumsy.
    What a shame the DT had to mar the holidays by including one of his puzzles.

    1. Brian, your comment gave me as much of a laugh as two or three of the clues today. Perhaps you should take up the offer of a paid for meal with Ray T as suggested recently!

    2. It’s time someone called you out Brian. Just how can a setter who limits each clue to eight words be guilty of ‘flimflam’? Give us a some examples. The only thing tedious and clumsy about Ray T puzzles is your all-too predictable response to them.

    3. Having just read your comment, Brian, I went back through each and every clue. I can’t find a single word that is out of place. Each and every clue is concise and to the point. Could you give us some examples of what you mean by ‘flim flam’?

      I’m not the blog’s biggest Ray T fan, but my complaint is normally stretched synonyms and that accusation certainly can’t be made today.

    4. I sometimes wonder why you even try the crossword, Brian, never mind comment on it?

      Have a go at composing one or two clever, smooth clues and you might become more generous in your appraisals.

      All the best for the coming year. :smile:

  10. Just wanted to say how much I liked 18d – a classic bit of Ray T humour. Also needed the hint to fully justify 3d (couldn’t stop thinking the answer was something within ‘EE’), so thanks to Pommers too.

  11. 1.5*/3*. Lovely stuff from Ray T and not too hard.

    Our favourites were 11a and 16d.

    Thanks to Pommers and Ray T.

    We’ve had to leave the Toughie part done until later – it’s living up to its name.

  12. An enjoyable Ray T puzzle, and a wonderful clue in 7d (although for some reason I totally failed to spot any of the alleged “flimflam surrounding it”!). A very happy new year and thanks to pommers, Ray T and Brian – without whose amusing reactions, no alternate Thursday would be quite complete.

  13. Enjoyable romp from Ray t. Not often I say that but credit where credits due. 7d is very clever and my favourite. Thanks to Ray t and pommers.

  14. 5 and 7 down my joint favourites in this pleasant Ray T offering. Nothing too obscure, just good honest clues and fair wordplay, 2*/4* seems about right. Thanks to the aforementioned and pommers for a fine review.

  15. The top section went in quite easily but the lower half took a little thought. Must have been the ‘flimflam’….
    16d was my fave, just because you don’t see that word too often in a crossword. (Cue Mr K!)
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Ray T, and to pommers for his excellent review.

    1. Three showings of 16d on the back page:

      DT 25412 I can still change hint (9)
      DT 26162 I can still turn out to be a bright spark (9)
      DT 27968 Trace calls in it on the move (9)

      It’s been more popular in the Toughie. I do like RayT’s Toughie 1257 clue.

      TOUGHIE 788 Giovanni: Befuddled, can I still sparkle? (9)
      TOUGHIE 858 Osmosis: Trace fault with farm worker, in conversation (9)
      TOUGHIE 984 Petitjean: Trace fault with part of steering mechanism via intercom (9)
      TOUGHIE 1042 Petitjean: Spark is all it takes to make comeback and no end of luck (9)
      TOUGHIE 1134 Beam: Everything it takes missing grand flipping scrap! (9)
      TOUGHIE 1257 Beam: Bit of perfect sex takes over missing weekend (9)
      TOUGHIE 1430 Firefly: Trace special constable — at home prior to Arsenal’s kick-off (9)
      TOUGHIE 1596 Dada: Wrong steering mechanism, we hear, producing spark (9)

      1. Mr Kitty, I have a challenge for you!

        Today’s comments include reference to the excellent triple definition using only three words, and four lurkers possibly being a record. I have a recollection that we had a clue some months ago where each word in a six word clue with a perfect surface led to six different meanings of the same answer. I may have dreamt this but, in case I didn’t, I have two questions:

        1) Is a sextuple definition a record?
        2) What was the clue?

        The only other piece of information I can offer is that it was almsot certainly either a Ray T or a Virgilius puzzle.

        1. There were 250 six-word clues on Sundays and Thursdays in 2016. Just looking down the list of those I don’t see any sextuple definitions. However, I suppose the clue could have involved more than six words. I’ll try to investigate further when I get a chance.

          1. Having thought about it some more, I fear I may have sent you on a wild goose chase courtesy of some misremembered information.

            At my age estimating elapsed time is a very inexact science, and I now think it was almost certainly pre-2016. I only started doing the Telegraph cryptics when I retired in August 2012 and this would have cropped up at least a year after that.

            Also quintuple rather than sextuple is nagging at me from somewhere at the back of my brain, and it may well have had more words than definitions. Needles and haystacks come to mind …

            1. Hi RD. Mr K is out shopping now, so I’ll pop in to suggest that it could be 6d here – which is a Virgilius.

              The only other quintuple I can find dates from a few months before you retired, and is from Elgar – 1d here.

              1. :good:
                Many thanks, Kitty. That’s the one (or should I say five) from Virgilius. I see that particular puzzle also included a triple lurker!

                Apologies again to Mr Kitty for my original bum information, but out shopping at 21:52? That’s a dangerous precedent.

  16. This has to be RayT at his most benign, I actually finished it, and found lots to like! This is not to say that I found it easy, just that I could do it.
    Fave was 7d, but there were others nipping at its heels, 18d, 13a, for example.
    Thanks to RayT and to pommers for the hints, miracle of miracles, not needed today.

  17. Good afternoon everybody.

    Finally a completed puzzle and allegedly one of Mr T’s, wonders may never cease, though a bit lurker rich. Anyway it was mostly very straightforward with just a small delay on the last couple. Last in 16d was favourite.


  18. **/****. I wasnt going to return to the blog until the new year but such an elegant puzzle demands I do. Unlike Brian, I thought this was so neatly constructed with not a word too many in the clues. So many good clues to choose a favourite but 15&19a and 7,16&18d were probably at the top of the list. Thanks to Ray T for another excellent puzzle and Pommers for the hints. Our white Christmas has now melted although not on the higher elevations where two walkers have still not been found since Christmas Day.

  19. Absolutely superb, RayT in top form today I thought, and barely a stretched synonym to be seen anywhere either!

    A joy to solve, even for someone suffering from a post-Christmas cold and sniffles, the best medication I could have asked for actually.

    I ticked five clues, but could easily have chosen a number of others. My votes went to 1a, 27a, 3d, 7d and 17d.

    Many thanks to Mr. Terrell, not just for today but for all all his puzzles during 2016, and thanks to Pommers for his interpretations and exotic selection of pictures.


    Informal noun

    1. Nonsensical or insincere talk
    2. a confidence trick

    The full range of RayT of RayTs devices are on show today. Unfortunately for me, what used to be a grim fight to the death is now a stroll in the park. That is all down to this site. As ever mostly wonderful clues. Those that are not wonderful are truly sublime. Thanks to RayT as ever. Thanks to Pommers. It’s back to Beam toughie 1722 from December 8th. Now that is putting up a fight.

    1. Before I found this site I used to give Thursdays a miss but in 6 months I have come to really enjoy the challenge. Am even starting to appreciate, thanks to all you “tutors”, what constitutes a good clue.
      My enjoyment of the back pager has increased at the same rate.
      Can”t thank you all enough.

      1. Well said, and with knobs on. I was never able to complete a RayT, now I’ve solved quite a few, and when I can’t complete one, it’s only shy of a couple.

        1. Me too. Still a little shy of completing, but, entirely due to the discovery of this wonderful site and all who contribute, I am very nearly there and enjoying the journey enormously. Thank you.

      2. I’m the same LOK, I used to swerve alternate Thursdays, now I look forward to them. I just wish I had more time to do them, starting at 8 o’clock in the evening is no good.

  21. Excellent stuff from RayT and he has excelled himself with the clue word count too. The longest clues here have only seven words. 19a got the biggest laugh from us and we did admire the triple in 7d.
    Thanks RayT and pommers.

  22. Certainly on the easier end of a Ray T spectrum but no less enjoyable for that.

    Thanks to Ray T., Pommers and BD and a very happy New Year to all

  23. I am a strong defender of freedom of speech so I always accept that people have the right to their own opinions and to express them freely.
    I also believe that people don’t change but I could be wrong.
    Brian has always been constant but RayT has been much more mellow of late.
    But that doesn’t impair the enjoyment level.
    Thanks for 25 or so crosswords of 2016 and all the beam toughies.
    Thanks to pommers and Feliz Año Nuevo to you.

  24. Just nicely testing if not a barrow-load of fun. Faute de mieux for 11a I bunged in an unparsed island which ignored the empty inlet – silly me. ***/***. For me today’s Quickie was one of the most enjoyable ever particularly with the four 13-letter words. Thanks RayT and Pommers.

  25. On the easy side for a Thursday, but as enjoyable as always. 13ac and 20d caused a few hold-ups at the close, otherwise I would have said * for difficulty, so perhaps edging into ** territory for me.

  26. Someone once said “Don’t take liberties with free speech or you could lose it.”

    I think sometimes people exhibit confirmation bias and as a result lose objectivity. It all adds to the variety of contribution which is what makes the site what it is.

  27. Evening all. Setter here, with thanks to pommers for the review and to all for your comments. I’m glad that most of you enjoyed it…


  28. Really enjoyed this Ray T puzzle, with about half of clues answered at first pass, and then rest falling in after some head scratching, and peeking at Pommers hints. When I manage to solve less than 6 at the first pass It can be a bit discouraging, but this one today was the perfect mix of pretty easy and somewhat difficult.

  29. The top half was a breeze, but the bottom half was a bit of a git.
    I needed a couple of hints, but much to enjoy. 29a was very enjoyable.
    There seemed to be lots of lurkers today…
    Thanks to Pommers and Ray-T

  30. I’b goig to bed dow. This mording I thought it was a Bedidorm 4 day hagover but durig the course of today I’ve developed a stodker of a code id the dose. Dever sdeezed so much id by life before. :sad:

  31. 1.5*/3*, and my favourite was 10a. I was tempted by 16d, which I always thought was a nice name for a boat (but one I’ve never used, because the boats I buy already have names, and I wouldn’t dare to change one). One day, perhaps, I’ll get to name a new one. Thanks for this to Ray T, and Pommers (try a hot whisky and lemon, and if it doesn’t work keep trying it. Eventually you’ll forget about the cold).

  32. A triple definition (7d) and a no-definition (25d). I enjoyed that, the clues had ostensible meaning and didn’t run to more than two lines; are you quite sure it was one of Ray T’s?

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