DT 28322 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28322

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28322

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Hello and welcome to another RayT Thursday.  All the hallmarks are there and there’s a few bits of synonym stretching as well so I guess we’ll get some complaints from the usual suspects.  Her Majesty is on parade and all the clues are short but there’s very little smut so it was a little disappointing for me as I likes a bit of smut in my crosswords.  I’ve gone for *** difficulty but that’s probably just because I put a wrong answer into 27a which caused a bit of a problem.  You’ll all probably say it’s only a ** but I can only rate it as I found it.

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           Cordiality produced by retsina he’s drunk (10)
HEARTINESS:  Anagram (drunk) of RETSINA HES.  I quite like this clue but I quite dislike retsina. Smells like pine toilet cleaner, yuk!

6a           Bird is protecting bird, half gone (4)
IBIS:  IS (from the clue) placed around (protecting) BI(rd) (half gone).

9a           Box contains energy weapon (5)
SPEAR:  To box, or at least practice boxing, around E(nergy).

10a         Pain again with ruler, endlessly thrashed (9)
NEURALGIA:  Anagram (thrashed) of AGAIN RULE (ruler endlessly).

12a         Tiny tear allowed to appear next to sink (7)
DROPLET:  A synonym of sink or fall followed by (next to) a word meaning allowed.

13a         Star compiler’s turning negative! (5)
MINUS:  Take our nearest star and then how the compiler might say “he is” and reverse the lot (turning).

15a         Exhausting individual, not quite awake (7)
ONEROUS:  The word for an individual, as our Queen might say, followed by a word meaning to awake without its last letter (not quite).

17a         Managed company with utter heartless resentment (7)
RANCOUR:  The usual three letter word meaning managed followed by the usual company and then UR (UtteR heartless).

19a         Becomes aware Eskimo’s eating last of meat (7)
INTUITS:  The proper name for Eskimos (don’t forget the ‘S) has inserted (eating) a T (last of meaT).

21a         Rods for fish (7)
PERCHES:  Double definition. These are not only rods but also poles and a carnivorous fish as well.

22a         Blemishes reversed in effective analysis (5)
NAEVI:  The first lurker.  But it’s backwards (reversed) in the last two words.

24a         Artist‘s turn to cover Queen music’s opening (7)
VERMEER:  A Dutch painter of the 17th century is a word for turn (?), or at least go off course, placed around the usual two letters for the Queen and an M (Music’s opening).

27a         Cover for retired person? (9)
EIDERDOWN:  Cryptic definition.  The retired person has retired to bed so I confidently inserted BEDSPREAD which made a right mess of the SW corner, D’OH!!!!

28a         Decoration‘s not completely exotic in gastronomy (5)
ICING:  Decoration of a cake is lurking (not completely) in the last three words.

29a         Stitched together broadcast for the audience (4)
SEWN:  Sounds like (for the audience) a word meaning broadcast, as in spread.

30a         Charm shown by bunch of cowboys in newspapers (10)
PREPOSSESS:  Take a generic term for the newspapers and insert a group of cowboys wearing white hats who are in pursuit of the baddies wearing black hats.  Cowboys in newspapers? Aren’t they all?


1d           Keen to wrap small present (4)
HOST:  A word which might mean keen placed around (to wrap) S(mall).

2d           The last word on depression admitting male ‘change‘ (9)
AMENDMENT:  The last word of a prayer followed by a depression, in the rear wing of my car at the moment, placed around (admitting) M(ale).

3d           Initially tree’s open root system omitted trunk (5)
TORSO:  First letters (initially) of the next five words.

4d           ‘Brains’ holds new record over puzzle (7)
NONPLUS:  Brains, as in common sense, has inserted (holds) N(ew) and a long playing record backwards (over).

5d           Louvre‘s quiet, say (7)
SHUTTER:  A command to be quiet followed by a word meaning say or speak give a louvre on a window, not the art gallery in Paris.  Nicely concealed false capitalisation.

7d           Activated live weapon (5)
BEGUN:  To live followed by a weapon.

8d           Terrible messes with rats in sewer (10)

11d         Calm, one remarks, surrounds hospital worker (7)
ALMONER: Another lurker. It’s hidden in  (surrounds) the first three words.

14d         Noise mostly almost shattered still (10)
MOTIONLESS:  Anagram (shattered) of NOISE along with ALMOST but without it’s first letter (mostly).

16d         Thespian, one seen in musical (7)
OLIVIER:  A famous thespian is an I (one) inserted into (seen in) a famous musical.  This clue really needs sending to the retirement home for overworked crossword clues.


18d         Love, where it’s played out differently (9)
OTHERWISE:  O (love) followed by an anagram (played out) of WHERE ITS.

20d         Guardian shows taste, incorporating Independent? (7
SAVIOUR: Take a word for to taste and insert an I(ndependent). 

21d         Fixes pan, served up vegetable (7)
PARSNIP:  A word for fixes or nails and a word for pan or hit and reverse the lot (served up in a down clue).  I like these roasted with a honey glaze.

23d         Provide closure before old wife … (5)
ENDOW: The closure or finish followed by O(ld) and W(ife).

25d         … leaves old husband over sex frolics finally (5)
EXITS:  The usual old spouse followed by the usual euphemism for sex and finally an S (frolicS finally).

26d         Matures  a long time (4)
AGES:  Double definition. Perhaps this one could share a room in the retirement home with 16d.

Favourites for me are the paired 23d and 25d. individually they aren’t brill but the pair together have a great surface. 

The Quick Crossword pun: cast+royal=castor oil

72 comments on “DT 28322

  1. 1.5*/4*. A typically enjoyable Ray T puzzle containing all his usual trademarks. I found this at the easier end of his spectrum although the SW corner took me above my 1* time, with 22a, a new word for me, my last one in.

    I initially put “begat” for 7d which to my (admittedly pedantic) mind is a better answer – except of course that it doesn’t fit with 13a. The past tense of “begin” can either be “began” or “begun”, but the latter normally requires an auxiliary verb so the definition “activated” is not synonymous with the answer, i.e. “activated” is equivalent to either “began” or “had begun”. I haven’t been able to construct a sentence in which you can replace “begun” with “activated”. Can anyone suggest one? I’m sure Gazza at least will rise to the challenge!

    On my podium today are 20d and the amusing linked pair of 23d & 25d.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to pommers.

      1. :smile:
        Thank you, Gazza. I knew my faith in you would not be misplaced! All my attempts at construction were based on using the past tense!

  2. This was excellent. Not the most difficult of Ray T’s, but still the best of the week and very enjoyable. I also initially inserted “bedspread” for 27a. Great surface misdirection in 8d – completely sending you up the garden path. I also liked 30a too – some really good clues in this one. 2.5*/4*.

    1. The trouble with “bedspread” for 27a is that the D fits with 23d so it was a while before I twigged it was wrong. Held me up for a bit.

  3. No complaints from me pommers – **/****. Completed comfortably before lights out last night; another very enjoyable puzzle. 22a is a new word for me, finally solved with electronic assistance. I would not call them oldies but goodies, but I think that 19a and 16d have come up in the not too distant past.

    Favourites 24a and 5d.

    Thanks to Ray T and pommers.

    1. 19a has appeared only four times in the last 16 years, the most recent being DT 27807 in May 2015.

      Pommers is right about the chestnut status of 16d. Four appearances in the last 16 months, twelve appearances since 2002, and all but one clued almost exactly as it is today.

      Regarding Pommers’ other nomination for retirement, 26d does indeed show up a lot on the back page – 21 times over the last 16 years. But there’s also considerable variety in how it’s been clued. Past clue constructions include variations on a good editor, agreed with a deletion, charades of silver and journalist, Degas with a deletion and a reversal, caged with a deletion, lurkers (e.g. centrepiece of package deals), outraged with deleted letters, etc. There’s probably still some mileage in that particular answer.

      1. But all those clues lead to ageD whereas the answer to 26d is ageS. Still think it’s past its best before date. :smile:

      2. Oops – I misremembered the answer to 26d and looked up the wrong tense :oops:

        But a similar comment applies to the present tense used in today’s puzzle. That answer has shown up 15 times on the back page over the last 16 years. Past clue constructions in that case include variations on agrees with a two-letter deletion, charades of A and G(ood) and (compass) points, sages with a deletion, wages with a deletion, Tangiers with alternating letter deletions, lurkers (e.g. …providing sage stuffing, Language skills must take…), rages with a deletion, Agnes with a deletion, …

        1. Interesting. Some words you can work with but oliver/ olivier doesn’t give much room for manoeuvre.

          1. Indeed. Its single appearance in the Toughie was also clued as I in the musical.

            Olivier is usually clued that way in the Guardian as well, but I did find these two other clue constructions over there:

            Tue 18 Feb 2003 GUARDIAN CRYPTIC 22757 Actor with heart of gold and one rival (7)
            Sat 19 May 2007 GUARDIAN PRIZE 24081 Much more angry having lost part of dress circle at opening of theatre (7)

  4. Thanks to RayT for the enjoyable puzzle and to pommers for the usual super-smooth review.
    I think that for the fodder in 14d ‘mostly’ without its last letter works better than ‘almost’ without its first.

  5. Not as taxing as the previous two days but agree that it is ‘typically enjoyable’, so a **/**** for me.
    Thought that 21was going to be Barbels until the checking letters went in.
    I9A not often seen in print but probably my favourite
    Was having difficulty with 30 a ,as the answer was obvious but I had misread the clue as ‘Calm’, D-oh.

  6. Beaten by a couple today, so thanks to Pommers. Thanks also to Ray T for the challenge. You wouldn’t play a sport if you knew you would always win, would you?

    1. “You wouldn’t play a sport if you knew you would always win, would you?”

      I like that observation, so true. I was beaten by two today as well. I found the reverse lurker in 22a but had to resort to the dictionary as I had never seen it before, and for the life of me I couldn’t find the correct fodder for 14d. ***/*** for me today.

      Thanks to one and all.

  7. An enjoyable Ray T offering, definitely on the easier side. Last one in was 22a, new word for me, couldnt find it in the online dictionary. Many thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for his contribution.

  8. Very enjoyable and 2 new words spotted in both lurkers. 1d was my favourite for its misdirection.
    Thanks all.

  9. Well, I did considerably better today than I did yesterday…a low bar, I know, but managed all but two without electronic help, so my self confidence is restored.

    Could not see 1d at all despite having the checkers…did not see the ‘keen’ synonym at all doh!

    4d did for me too…..but I am a Meringue of very little brain.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers for his hints.
    Have to agree re retsina…..I think it is actually worse than Laphroaig…which hits a pretty low spot for me.
    The Speyside ones now…….

    1. Balvenie and Dalwhinnie for me (never been close to retsina – even its name conjures up thoughts of pommers’ toilet cleaner comparison).

  10. A perfect antidote to yesterday’s struggle, This pressed all the right buttons for me – not too long to finish but lots of smiles on the way. One pedantic point, as a fisherman I have never used the plural term of 21a and I can’t find it in the BRB. No doubt someone will correct me, but it’s customary to use pike, roach, bream, trout etc in the singular even when there is (are) more than one.
    Nevertheless it’s a 2*/5* from me.

    Here comes the snow in the Peak District! Got my shovel handy.

  11. Nice puzzle. I put nightgown in at 27ac. 16d only works if you tipped out the black square beneath it and OU in a quotation mark. Thanks RayT (you don’t scare me anymore) Thanks to Pommers too.

  12. No real pain today but did have to Google a couple – 13a and 22a. NE corner was last to fall. The 5d quiet seems to have made multiple appearances recently. Thanks RayT and Pommers.

  13. Enjoyable puzzle today and pretty straightforward. 22a was a new word for me but was able to work it out, then confirm in the dictionary. No particular favourite today. I still don’t quite get pan-rap in 21d.

  14. A thoroughly enjoyable tussle from Ray T today. I thought at first it was going to be at the tougher end of his spectrum, but after a slow start, it all fell into place very nicely. 7 down was my favourite until I completed 30 across, which takes the gold medal.

    Many thanks to Ray T and pommers for a fun review.

    Still no snow here in the hills although we have been promised a shed load. The dire forecast even encouraged us to wimp out of a concert in Birmingham tonight.

  15. Loved it, but would anyone really expect me to say anything different?
    I didn’t have any major trouble apart from the numbers of ‘P’s and ‘S’s and where to put them in 30a.
    It took me a while to sort out the 21d veg.
    I think that the 11d’s are now called Social Workers but I’m all for a bit of setter’s licence.
    I liked 1 and 19a and 8d. I’m going to call 23 and 25d my combined (one) favourite.
    With thanks to Ray T and to pommers.
    Off to the Cotswolds to see a friend – it’s raining but forecast to turn to snow so :unsure: The weather chaps have been talking about snow for ages – when they give us three days warning we don’t usually get any – it’s when there’s no warning at all that we get 3 ft.

    1. “Social workers” around here are something different. They’re the girls who hang around the roundabouts waiting for trade. Well, they’re “working girls” and they are very sociable :lol:

      1. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! Spank your legs – actually, forget that or you’ll come up with something even worse – oh dear again.

  16. Eek, took me longer than the toughie though on reflection it wasn’t hard – just me today then.

    I fell for bedspread too, and begat – and wasted some time getting the right fodder in 14a – mostly almost indeed.

    Was happy with the Dutch artist (and you can veer to the right, so I think that is fine) and I was happy to see the apostrophe in 19a because the people in the answer do not have a separate plural form – although I think an ‘of’ would have been forgiven in the surface

    My last one in was 13 – doh – and hence my favourite, though i also liked 1a, and I don’t mind retsina (when in Greece..)

    Many thanks RayT and pommers

  17. Pretty near perfect – as ever. Unusual to find a ‘new’ word in a Mr. T but I did have to look up 22a today.
    More than happy to agree with anyone’s list of potential favourites although I think 30a takes the honours for me.

    Dread to think how much teeth-sucking has gone on at Brian’s house this morning!

    Devotions to Mr. T and many thanks to Pommers for a well illustrated blog. Isn’t a bedspread something that gets taken off the bed before one retires?

  18. 22ac was new to me but smartarse Saint Sharon new what it was. I guess Kath would know it too

  19. Luckily I found a pre-read DT before the flight back from Zurich today that had the crossword intact…
    I initially went for the incorrect “endowment” rather than the preferred incorrect “bedspread” for 27a that caused problems. I convinced myself that cover = interest = endowment.
    I consider that obscure medical terms (that I’ve never heard of) are employed as a last resort by setters when they’ve boxed themselves in with the markers. A visit to “oneacross” proved the case for both 10a and 22a with no other real words available.

  20. Good afternoon everybody.

    Very good puzzle today. I’ll nominate 14d as favourite as, despite obviously being anagram, it took me a good while to figure out but having done so I was able to see 27d and 29d to finish. 22a remains outside my vocabulary although I’m sure I must have met it before in crossword puzzles.


  21. Rather enjoyed this one with plenty to smile at and some clever cluing. Luckily I avoided getting caught up in the bedpsread as I’d got the initial letter from 14d and I’d heard of 22a due to a pal’s baby being born with a birthmark.

    I’ve not encountered 20d as a synonym for ‘guardian’ before. Slightly raised eyebrow.

    But here’s the really odd one: 1d was last one in and I solved it correctly but for the wrong reason. I’m not particularly religiously inclined but I vaguely recalled that the communion wafer also known as the 1d can be called ‘the returned gift’. As gift=present and the wordplay led to the same answer I put it in. The alternative verb-based solution never occurred to me!

    8d is favourite today – as Jose said, great surface misdirection.

    Thanks to Ray T and, of course, pommers.

  22. Not the most difficult of RayT puzzles certainly, but not the setter at his sparkling best either I felt.

    I didn’t care for the juxtaposition of “mostly” and “almost” in 14d, and I tend to cringe when fish (rather than fishes) are pluralised in the manner of 21a. I know it’s legitimate to do so, but to me it always sounds wrong. My favourite clue was 24a.

    No sign of Brian yet today, I wonder if he’ll drop by later…

    Thanks to Mr. Terrell and to Pommers, whom I hope has finally found an alternative smut fix today!

  23. Whew, I sweated bullets again! I have to admit the top half was much easier, though I never did get 13a. Apart from that, I did solve the rest, needing hints to understand 24a, but I knew my answer had to be correct.
    I knew 22a, though we spell it without the “a”, I could see it was a reverse lurker.
    I loved 21d, fave veg, but my fave clue was 4d.
    Thanks to RayT, and to pommers for the enlightenment.

  24. 13a was the one that held us up for longest and was last in. Hard to see why now but was probably because we wanted ‘star’ to be the definition and the negative to be NO. Looks like others went down that track too. All good fun and much enjoyed. The clue word count all in order as usual.
    Thanks RayT and pommers.

  25. Again, a very good crossword. It was admittedly at the easier end of the Ray T spectrum but it was good fun to do. I liked 14d but I have to agree with the 23/24d combination being favourite. 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to Ray T and to pommers for his review.

  26. I agree with Pommers ***/*** quite tricky but worth it for the feeling of satisfaction on completion 😇 22a was a new word for me and being a retired person was another one under the wrong cover 🙁 Favourites there were quite a lot but 19a & 8d get the prizes 🏆 Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers 🌨??

  27. Another on-wavelength day for me. Plenty to smile about, and I’ll agree with pommers in his choice of favourite.

    Many thanks to pommers and RayT.

  28. Evening all. Setter here, with thanks to pommers for the review and to all for your comments.


    1. Thanks for popping in to check up on us, Mr. T.
      Still hoping that you might actually make the journey to meet us all at the birthday party this year – PLEASE?

    2. I’m very impressed that you always drop in to let us know that an actual person sets these puzzles! Thank you for that.

    3. Maestro, I also went wrong at 27a, I put it down to too much birthday lunch . Glad others fell too.
      Thankyou for a good day.oj. (lower case)

  29. I found this quite tricky, so *** for difficulty sounds about right. I made heavy weather of some of the (to me) unfamiliar answers, some of which I expected to be write-in anagrams, which accounts for some of it. And my ongoing inability to spot hidden words. An enjoyable challenge, thanks RayT. :-)

    1. Oh no – oh dear – man flu?
      If you’re ‘properly ill’ I apologise for being a bit flippant and wish you the speediest of recoveries.
      Would a little :rose: make you feel better?

    2. Sorry to hear that. Get well soon but be careful with the toddies. I was recommended those a couple of weeks ago for the “stinkid code id the dose” but, of course, one led to another etc so the next morning I not only still had the code but a headache as well. Still, fun at the time.

  30. Tricky today not helped by two new words 22 & 11. Also went for bedspread and had a number of D’oh moments. Thanks to Pommers for the hints and Mr T for caring. As a relative newby I liked 16d.

    1. I bet I liked 16d when I first saw it. Difficult for the setters really because an old hand like me will go “yawn” and be filling in the answer before finishing reading the clue but to a newby it’s all fresh stuff, and it is technically a good clue.

      I don’t usually moan too much about chestnuts for that very reason but today’s 16d is really past its sell by date. I’m a little surprised at RayT using it.

  31. Absolutely loved this one! Some tricky but very fair clues, my favourite being 8d. Ray T must have been very relieved to find that there really was a word that fitted the checking letters for 22a! Many thanks to him and Pommers for the review.

  32. I did this one earlier today. 1/2* difficulty and 3.5* enjoyment. I don’t often pick an anagram, but I liked 8d. Ta to Mr T, and to Pommers.

  33. Yes, easier than usual from Ray. As one who always goes down before going across, I had the D in 27a and so scrawled endowment (confusing it with annuity), making all sorts of trouble until Larry came along and alerted me to the blunder. Otherwise, a good workout with no quibbles. Thanks to Pommers and Mr T. My favourite clue has to be 17a, simply because it reminds me of Woy Jenkins on why he joined the SDP: “There is too much rancour in the Labour Party.” 2*/4*

  34. Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the review and hints. A wonderful puzzle, I thought that it was a bit on the gentle side. Very entertaining. Would agree that 16d was an old 🌰. Had to use the thesaurus to help me solve 1d, which was last in. Favourite was 30a. Was 2*/4* for me .

  35. I know I am a day late but we moved house yesterday so I didn’t look at it until today. Credit where credit is due, I thought this was superb, all the clues made sense and I really enjoyed it.
    So thx to all.

    1. Yay!! Well done, Brian, especially after moving house, a chore I hope I never do ever again.

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