DT 28315 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28315

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28315

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***


Kia ora from Aotearoa.
Our first post of 2017 so Happy New Year everyone.
Our Pohutukawa trees now have a carpet of red underneath them. Their spectacular Christmas display is only short-lived and the trees do not even observe the usual custom of waiting for Twelfth Night to remove their decorations. Our weather continues to be unseasonably variable. This morning’s forecast for the whole country even mentioned the possibility of snow in the far south. However we are getting some days of good summer holiday weather in the mix.

Enjoy today’s puzzle from Jay.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Sound drunk after refreshing drink (10)
WATERTIGHT : The refreshing drink is sometimes called Adam’s Ale and is followed by an informal word for drunk.

6a     Reversible raincoats? Must be a con trick (4)
SCAM : Simply reverse a common name that we use for raincoats.

10a     Overall interest payable before working (5)
APRON : The abbreviation that is used for annual percentage rate, and then working or in operation.

11a    Lob defender — a reminder of the old days? (9)
THROWBACK : Lob or toss and then a member of a sports team who is in a defensive position.

12a     Learned people‘s strange rite in mostly dead language (8)
LITERATI : The language of the Romans loses its last letter and surrounds an anagram (strange) of RITE.

13a     Grub originally revealed in rock (5)
LARVA : Rock emanating from a volcano contains the first letter (originally) of revealed.

15a     Gets off when holding torch, perhaps (7)
ALIGHTS : A two letter synonym for when encloses a word for a torch or lamp.

17a     Stern-faced expert’s twisted expression
GRIMACE : An adjective meaning stern-faced and an expert or pro.

19a     Gifted, but finish with nothing and get married (7)
ENDOWED : A word meaning finish or complete, then the letter that signifies nothing and a word meaning get married.

21a     Part of parade to Gibraltar returned wearing blinkers? (7)
BIGOTED : A lurker that is reversed within the third, fourth and fifth words of the clue.

22a     Demolish last of carrots and potatoes (5)
SMASH : The last letter of carrots, and potatoes when served in a pureed form.

24a     Tea with no pretensions for this minister (8)
CHAPLAIN : An informal word for tea and then a word for having no pretensions or ordinary.

27a     Hospital workers are prone to be swamped by instructions (9)
ORDERLIES : Instructions or directives surround a word meaning to be in a prone position.

28a     Hot air trap (5)
MOUTH : Hot air here means to deliver empty talk, and trap is an informal word for the organ that does this.  (We’re not quite sure about this one. Any better ideas?)

29a     Bank ignoring prohibition to irritate church (4)
KIRK : When you remove a word meaning prohibition from bank you are left with one letter. Follow this with a word meaning to irritate.

30a     Affection shown by extravagant chaps in hospital department (10)
ENDEARMENT : A word for extravagant or expensive and a synonym for chaps are inside the hospital department that deals with organs in one’s head and neck.


1d     Deterioration in sport (4)
WEAR : A double definition. Sport here means to be dressed in.

2d     Bound to admit mistake if in great fear (9)
TERRIFIED : A three letter word meaning make a mistake and IF from the clue are inside a word for bound or restrained.

3d     Extent of anger about origin of news (5)
RANGE : The first letter of news is inside a word for anger.

4d     Visibly upset, seeing current rents (2,5)
IN TEARS : A short word for current or fashionable and then rents or pulls apart.

5d     The girl’s call — must be fish (7)
HERRING : A female possessive personal pronoun and then a telephone call.

7d     Church voice and seat of authority (5)
CHAIR : The abbreviation for church and then to voice or publicise.

8d     Madam’s keen to change and provide compensation (4,6)
MAKE AMENDS : An anagram (to change) of MADAM’S KEEN.

9d     Women in trading as result of injury (8)
SWELLING : The abbreviation for women is found inside a word for trading or retailing.

14d     Steals routine for reviews (5,5)
TAKES STOCK : Steals or removes without permission and then routine or run of the mill.

16d     May hotel throw a wobbly over knight? (8)
HAWTHORN : The phonetic alphabet letter represented by hotel, an anagram (wobbly) of THROW A and then the chess notation for knight.

18d     But a trite novel may show quality (9)
ATTRIBUTE : An anagram (novel) of BUT A TRITE.

20d     Way of speaking of drug dependency without notice (7)
DICTION : Remove the two letters for a notice or advertisement from the beginning of a word meaning drug dependency.

21d     Money that is for old-fashioned club (7)
BRASSIE : A slang word for money and then the abbreviation of the Latin expression meaning that is.

23d     Tree which, planted by man, would be official (5)
ALDER : If the word ‘man’ is added to this tree we can find a local government official.

25d     Animal left bird on top of railing (5)
LEMUR : The letter signifying left, then a large Australian bird and the first letter of railing.

26d     Touch of humour around hospital (4)
WHIT : The abbreviation for hospital is inside humour or cleverness.

The meaning of sound in 1a had us confused for a while so 1a is again our favourite.

Quickie pun    carries    +    horse     =    curry sauce

69 comments on “DT 28315

  1. Very mild, nearly all R+W (which is a term I don’t particularly like) and finished in record time; the easiest back-pager I can remember for a long time. Definitely one for the novices, learners and improvers – which is fair enough, I was one 47 years ago. 1*/2*.

    1. Is there a way to learn how these puzzles are actually set from start to finish? I am amazed by the thought processes of the setters and would like to understand a bit of how it’s actually done!

      1. Welcome to the blog, Jeff.
        Dean Mayer (Anax/Elkamere) did a superb account of his setting process for us several years ago. You can read it here.

      1. Read and Write – where you just look at the clues and they write themselves in without any brain-stretching at all

        1. For me, if it’s a genuine R&W and I can see all the answers on first sweep I don’t even bother to fill it in, and go straight to the Toughie. As you have commented, always in that order.

      2. Do take a moment to read the FAQ’s, they are comprehensive, informative and useful. (As are the other tips pages – it’s an interesting site to explore). FAQ’s can be found here or on the nav bar at the top of the page.

        Hope that helps.

    2. I also started doing these exactly 47 years ago, the year I gave up my job when we had our first daughter. There were some gap years when we first moved to the US, difficult and expensive to get hold of a DT then. Internet and on line access and I was back. improved only after we found this blog. 😊

    3. I may not be able to call myself a novice any more, but when I stop being a learner and an improver you may switch off my life support!

      1. So presumably, if you passed your test before 1970 and have been driving all your adult life, you’d categorise yourself as a “learner” then?

  2. 2.5*/5*. After a minor blip last week, our Wednesday Wizard is right back on form today with a splendid offering which was nicely challenging and a joy to solve from start to finish.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  3. I found this almost a R&W with the exception of parsing 16D but the answer was all it could be so I did a Miffy pops & bunged it in. Agree with the ratings offered,& many thanks to the setter & the two K’s for the review.

    1. Re 16d – “ne’er cast a clout ’til may (hawthorn) be out” – or is it till the month of May be out?

  4. Happy New Year 2Ks. As always it’s good to hear from you bright and early although today I did manage on my Jack Jones. Overall it was a brief fun run. I too had slight reservations about 28a. Thank you Mr. Ron and 2Ks. **/***.

  5. Re:28a – there is an expression we used when I lived up north & it was “Stop mouthing off!”. In other words please cease emanating hot air from your gob. Any takers?

    1. I don’t think it is a uniquely northern expression, Spindrift. A lot of people mouth off in the south too!

    2. “All mouth and trousers” commonly expresses the sentiment. Opposite to yesterday’so “char” there seems no feminine equivalent.

  6. Although by no means a difficult puzzle, I really enjoyed this and I thought it a bit harder than the two previous days offerings. My favourite was 28a. 1.5*/4.5* Trap is definitely a term for the mouth up here in the north, I thought it would have been used countrywide. Many thanks to Jay and to 2Kiwis.

  7. I really enjoyed this splendid Jay puzzle. So many terrific clues, it’s difficult to find a favourite, but I’ll go for 10 across for its neatness and simplicity. 2*/4* from me.

    Thanks Jay, and the 2Ks.

  8. We agree with Jon P. A bit of a breeze but very enjoyable */****
    Thanks to the 2K’s and Jay.

  9. Also found this gentle but enjoyable.. Nice unambiguous clues. Good R&R after failing miserably at yesterday’so Toughie. Thanks Kitty for showing me how it should have done. Dunce cap firmly in place.
    Thanks to today’s setter & to 2Ks for the situation report from NZ.

  10. **/**** for me, completed comfortably before lights out last night although I missed out on full bonus points on on-line submission.

    Too many good and very good clues to pick a favourite or favourites.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks (especially for coping with British idioms).

  11. Enjoyed this after struggling with the toughie.

    Liked 1a and 21a the most

    Thank you 2 Kiwis and Jay and Happy New Year

    1. I’m always intrigued by people who do the Toughie first. I always start with the back pager, probably because that’s been my first puzzle of the day for so many years, and partly to warm the brain up ready for the Toughie. I even do that on the rare occasions when I’m the Toughie blogger.

      1. I always do the Toughie first, at breakfast. Pommette likes us to do the back-pager together over lunch. She reckons to learn from her private blogger and actually doesn’t need me any more :smile:

  12. Ah yes – guessed it would be considered an easy one as I completed this (must be a second if not a first) by 9 am this morning. However this is such a rare occurrence it has moved me from my normally passive state to one when i actually feel moved to comment!

    What i don’t really understand however is why when some puzzles are considered easy I sometimes have difficulty getting more than half way through.

    I have my suspicions however that these are the puzzles populated by golf, cricket and other blokey team sports whither i never travel.

  13. Three nice solveable puzzles in a row 😄 **/**** apart from a wee bitty bother in theSW where originally I started 24d with an “e” giving me an official in 29a 😬 Favourite 16d, closely followed by 11a ( a ruse to get around only being allowed 1 favourite) 😉 A big thank you and a Happy 2017 to my three favourite birds 2x Kiwis and a Garrulus glandarius! 😜

  14. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite gentle. Just needed the hints to parse 16d, which I got from the checkers. 10&21a made me laugh. Last in was 17a. Favourite was 28a. Was 2*/4* for me.

  15. Save for four black squares changing colour, an identical grid to yesterday. Like yesterday as well, I found this one to be solid, if lacking in sparkle, and slightly marred by duplications. It was disappointing to see “must be” linking the wordplay and definitions in both 6a and 5d, and “origin”/”originally” as first letter indicators in both 3d and 13a.

    Nevertheless, an enjoyable solve, but I think that RD is being too charitable in saying that Jay’s magic touch has returned – perhaps it will though next Wednesday?

    My favourite clue by default (as the only one to attract a tick) was 16d.

    Thanks to Mr. Mutch and to the 2Ks.

  16. I enjoyed this puzzle. Not particularly hard but neatly constructed clues. So thank you Jay and the 2Ks for the review. Our side road is like a skating rink but yesterday the air was so clear it felt like we were in the mountains, not 30 miles from them. Even my photos dont convey how beautiful they looked.

  17. A pretty puzzle with no teeth. Enjoyable all the same. Many thanks to Jay and 2Ks.

  18. Good afternoon everybody.

    Somebody had already written in four solutions (one wrongly!) so only 28 left. Mostly straightforward but one or two I liked including 10a and 21a. 26d foxed me, I wrote in WHET (as in one’s appetite) for want of a better idea. 16d wasn’t entirely clear why to me but at least that was the correct solution and not much else was going to fit.


  19. Pleasant crossword in */** territory. To be honest a bit too easy but great confidence booster for folks new to these things. Now to revisit the handful of clues from yesterday’s which eluded me at first go. Lovely weather in Mexico City these last few days. Thanks to setter and NZ bloggers.

  20. I wouldn’t call it a R & W by any means, but not too bad – really enjoyed it!

    I’d heard of the golf club at 21d but never seen a picture of one, it looks like a cross between a 3 Wood and a modern-day Rescue Club, I understand they had a brass sole, hence the name – there’s nothing new under the sun!

    1. I’m reliably informed that 21d is a no. 2 wood. I’m sure that makes sense to you golfers!

  21. Enjoyed this but by no means read & write for me; not too, too difficult, but I had to think a lot.
    Fave was 28a, we’ve had that before. I also knew the club at 21d.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis for the fun.

  22. Good morning all. It looks like we had worked out 28a correctly despite having a few doubts before bedtime last night. Our weather mix seems to be planning a genuine summer day for us today so things like a walk along the beach and even a game of golf (though without a mashie) could well be on the programme.
    Cheers. :bye:

  23. What a brilliant crossword – I agree it wasn’t very difficult but I loved it.
    No major problems although I was slow to spot the definition in 16d and like some others I dithered a bit with 28a until I had alternate letters.
    SO many good clues that it’s tricky to pick out any in particular but I’ll have a go – 1 and 21a and 16d.
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s – enjoy your walk on the beach – I’ll picture you, but forget the golf. :smile:

  24. Loved it. Also a quickie for me save for 26d. I was thinking of another sort of touch i.e.pat. Cannot say I have heard of the answer as anything other than a religious festival (I probably have but have forgotten). Was interested in the thoughts about how cryptic crosswords are compiled. I am also interested in how they are solved. I am haphazard rather than methodical. I like to find one I can answer – preferably a long one and work from there with the checking letters. It is pure delight when I get near the end and find clues I have not already seen/considered and can do!

  25. A terrific crossword. Simple but very entertaining. 28a was my favourite. This expression for ‘mouth’ was always popular darn sarf if I remember!
    2/4* overall.
    Thanks to Jay, and to the 2K’s even further ‘dahn sarf’.

  26. Nice one from Jay – 1a definition fooled me for a while.
    Leader board shows 10,17&28a – good surface reads.

    Thanks to Jay and to 2Ks – hope you enjoy your walk and the round of golf.

  27. Good stuff as usual but pretty benign so it’s */**** from us.

    Quite a few great clues but 21a is favourite because I solved it instantly, but by completely wrong logic, Some you win . . .

    Thanks mutchly to the Wednesday wizard and the 2Kiwis.

  28. Great crossword from Jay. Love it when the clues can be reasoned out with a bit of thought, and no specialized knowledge of a particular subject needed. Well, I didn’t know the golf club, but from the cash part of the clue I bunged it in and then googled to check. Favorite was 24a for a nice play of words and 12a was sole holdout. Thanks 2 Kiwis.

  29. Straightforward and great fun – a winning combination for which 1.5*/3*.

    Favourite was 16d.

    Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay.

  30. Mostly gentle, with a few that held out a little longer. Just what I needed on the first “normal” day of the year for me. I share the Kiwis’ favourite. Thanks to them and to Jay.

  31. I was a little slow in the NW and SW corners, otherwise this would probably have been a * for difficulty, with lots going in on definition alone. A thoroughly enjoyable *, mind.

  32. Excellent Jay crossword, not hard but superbly clued. Every one beautifully crafted.
    Agree with **, favourite was 16d for the excellent use of ‘May’.
    Thanks Jay and the 2xK’s for the hints….

    1. Welcome

      We already have a Brian who asks questions like yours so I think you will have to change your alias

      As I would say to the original Brian, if you look up may in the dictionary you should find that one of the definitions is an alternative name for the hawthorn tree, which usually flowers in the month of May thus giving rise to the saying about not casting a clout until [the] May is out.

  33. I’ve been out of radio contact for a few days although I managed to finish those puzzles I could buy from Ill-stocked shops around the South Oxford canal. Jay welcomes me back to the world of work with an unchallenging but fun test, of which 16d takes the billionaire’s shortbread. Thanks to the Ks (I keep taking the tablets in the hope that I can return to the golf course this year, although it’s not looking promising) and Mr Mutch. 1*/3*

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