DT 28327 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28327

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28327

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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


Kia ora from Aotearoa.
It is Agapanthus flowering time. A reminder to us that a whole year has passed since we had a much enjoyed visit from Kath and Chris. We appreciate that Agapanthus is a species that is cherished and admired by UK gardeners. Here it is more in the nature of a ubiquitous weed and is even classified as an “environmental weed” or “restricted pest plant” in some areas of the country. But whether one loves them or hates them, they certainly make an impressive blue and white display at this time of the year.

No particular problems with today’s Jay puzzle though there were several clues where a bit of extra thought was required.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Poor grandpa’s regularly taking something in bed (10)
SNAPDRAGON : An anagram (poor) of GRANDPA’S and then a word for ‘regularly taking’ that could apply to a medication.

6a     Cold cut of meat and bed (4)
CRIB : The abbreviation for cold and a cut of meat that comes from the thoracic region.

9a     Last of traditionalists drives slowly, writes quickly (7)
SCRAWLS : The final letter of traditionalists and then drives slowly or creeps along.

10a     Easily broken Scot, for example, let off (7)
BRITTLE : A shortened form of the nationality that a Scot or even a Welshman could claim, and an anagram (off) of LET.

12a     Bore‘s medical condition (4,2,3,4)
PAIN IN THE NECK : A double definition. The medical condition affects the cervical region.

14a     Kanu’s last sending off — not authorised (8)
UNSIGNED : The final letter of Kanu, and then an anagram (off) of SENDING.

15a     Rest this spinner (6)
SPIDER : This rest is used on a billiard or snooker table.

17a     Religious type delayed by old bishop (6)
OBLATE : The abbreviation for old, then the chess notation for bishop and delayed or not on time.

19a     Cleaner has master’s degree and attractive personality (8)
CHARISMA : A ‘lady wot does’ and a 2,2 way of expressing ‘has a master’s degree’.

21a      They make women raise the pace (8,5)
STILETTO HEELS : A cryptic description of things that elevate some women’s footwear.

24a     Abstainers embracing teetotallers after German backed meeting near the seaside? (7)
REGATTA : Reverse the three letter abbreviation for German and then the two letter abstainers’ organisation surrounds the abbreviation for teetotallers.

25a     Carrying clubs, go and seek out exotic pets (7)
GECKOES : An anagram (out) of GO and SEEK contains the abbreviation for clubs as a card suit.

26a     Wrong end of rack for a kitchen unit (4)
SINK : A wrong or evil deed and the last letter of rack.

27a     Cunning mole-like creatures protecting loose ends (10)
SHREWDNESS : An anagram (loose) of ENDS is inside these mole-like creatures.


1d     Keep quiet about a son in band (4)
SASH : A from the clue and the abbreviation for son are both inside a request to keep quiet.

2d     By the way, when covering support, duck (7)
APROPOS : A two letter synonym for when surrounds a rigid support and the cricket score duck.

3d     Depressed, setting out to employ engineers for centre of power (7,6)
DOWNING STREET : A word for depressed or blue and an anagram (out) of SETTING includes army engineers.

4d     Signs of excitement in Australia (8)
AUSPICES : The IVR code for Australia is outside a word for excitement or zing.

5d     Round trip? (5)
ORBIT : This round trip could be like the one the moon takes around our planet.

7d     Tyre trader relocating around end of June (7)
RETREAD : The last letter of June is inside an anagram (relocating) of TRADER.

8d     Rest must have money to eat (5,5)
BREAK BREAD : A synonym for a rest or adjournment is followed by an informal term for money.

11d     Gina undressed and felt raw (13)
INEXPERIENCED : Undress Gina by removing her first and last letters and then a word for felt or had the sensation of.

13d     Under the weather, having no more classes? (3,2,5)
OUT OF SORTS : Classes here is a verb meaning organises or puts in order and comes after a phrase for having no more or depleted.

16d     Article on former Tory leader’s centre of government (3,5)
THE HAGUE : The definite article followed by the Tory leader who succeeded John Major.

18d     Telling porkies at home, and not getting up (5,2)
LYING IN : What somebody telling porkies is doing and then the usual short word for ‘at home’.

20d     Sally loses heart, scarf and beat (7)
SYSTOLE : The first and last letters of Sally (loses heart) and then a type of scarf that is worn around the shoulders, and that was originally an ecclesiastical vestment.

22d     Quite a character, keeping aboard train (5)
TEACH : A lurker hiding in the first three words of the clue.

23d     Requests fool to entertain king (4)
ASKS : The chess notation for king is inside a fool or stupid person.

Too many good ones to pick a favourite today so instead we have put in a picture of the plants we talked about in the intro.

Quickie pun    Powys    +    truck    +    chair    =    power structure


54 comments on “DT 28327

  1. An interesting and enjoyable puzzle causing a certain amount of head scratching, one occurrence of electronic assistance (4d), and a couple of instances of electronic verification (27a (see below) and the number of Ls and Ts in the first word of 21a) to complete. I was pleased to see that all four long clues were anagram free. So, 2.5*/3* for me.

    Until today, I would not have considered the small animal that is the first part of 27a to be a ‘mole-like creature’ but Wikipedia says it is, so who am I to argue. I would have considered it to be related to the Jerry half of Tom and Jerry of cartoon fame. So, first thanks to Jay for the educational moment.

    Three candidates for long favourite – 19a, 21a, and 3d – and 21a takes the gold.

    Short favourite – a toss-up between 15a and 5d – both equally very good in my opinion.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  2. I go along with the 2Ks’ rating of 3*/4*. Most of this very enjoyable offering fell into place smoothly with the NW corner plus 27a holding out the longest.

    I agree with Senf about the Ls & Ts in 21a, and with the 2Ks’ opinion that there were too many good clues to try to pick a favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  3. I will go along with the early comments on this fine puzzle from Jay. I thought it was at the slightly tougher end of his spectrum, which made it all the more enjoyable. The fact that the long clues were anagram-free earned it an extra star for enjoyment, so 2.5*/4* from me. 11 down was my COTD and 8 down the last one in.

    Many thanks to Jay for a most enjoyable workout and to the 2Ks for a fine review.

  4. Had to succumb to electronic help for 1a, otherwise battled tbrough this one.

    Have to say I found it pretty tough.

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis for unscrambling the clues.

  5. The usual high standard from Jay with plenty of smiles along the way.
    I particularly liked the 12a medical condition and arrived at a totally different ‘take’ on 1a when I thought of the old hospital matrons often being referred to as dragons!

    Thanks to Jay and also to our 2Ks – yes, my agapanthus are prized possessions and the seed heads are still providing interest in the pots at the front of the house.

  6. An enjoyable puzzle from Jay, a few head scratchers along the way, but a good challenge. 4d and 20d beat me, didnt help myself by putting gocarts as the answer for 25a. Many thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for their help.

  7. Maybe the kitties were a little furry-headed this morning but we found this quite a bit tougher than the average back pager, and ended up putting those furry heads together at the end.

    17a was a new meaning for us. Our favourite is 11d. We also liked the way the quickie pun relates to a couple of the answers here.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  8. IMHO this was somewhat prosaic and certainly not amongst my best-loved daily challenges. 21a just warrants a Fav nomination. Thanks Jay and 2Ks. ☹️

  9. Not sure if this is allowed, but just wanted to share an amusing clue from today’s Guardian: ‘They conceal privates and fighters’ (6).

    1. I think the only rules are to keep away from politics and religion. No swearing. No untoward personal comments. Be nice to Jane and Kitty. That’s all.

    2. Another clue from another paper – today’s “i” … having read the 2Kiwis blog I had no problem solving this one:

      A space like this can accommodate a new garden plant (10)

  10. Found this to be a tricky little puzzle which took some head scratching and a little electronic help for 17a and 20d. Apart from that a good workout. Definately ***/**** for me. Favourite 27a.
    Thanks to the 2Ks and to Jay.

  11. My husband was terribly disappointed when I assured him that the fourth word of 12 across would not be his suggestion, a word that rhymes with ‘grass’.

  12. On wavelength today, had to look up 17a & 20d but otherwise no problems. Top spot goes to 5d for simplicity.
    Thanks to Jay and 2K’s.

  13. 1ac I found quite tricky at the close, but the rest fairly flew in, so */** for difficulty. In common with many others, I suspect, I wanted the last word of 12ac to be something completely different.

  14. Could not get 1 across without help but a good puzzle. I love my agapanthus which are much admired in our garden. We first saw them blooming in N Z 7 years ago and a lovely reminder of that beautiful country. Many thanks to setter and kiwis.

  15. Having computer trouble today, third try.
    Can’t really quibble with 2 k’s ***/**** and like RD held up by the NW corner.
    Liked the 24a charade and the surface of 15a, excellent fare from Jay.
    Special mention to the shoe pic for 21a

  16. Tricky but enjoyable. Best since the last Jay puzzle and makes up for the run of slightly disappointing crosswords in the days in between. Too many good clues for a favourite. Thanks to Jay and 2kiwis.

  17. A really enjoyable way to spend a Wednesday morning. On the first read through, I was sorely tempted to ‘bung in’ an answer for 12a but managed to wait and see what checking letters I had for the last word from 7 & 8d :) Lots to smile about and far too many ticks to select a single favourite – so I shall not risk the ‘Wrath of Kath’ and keep my ideas to myself.

    Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and the 2K’s for their review.

  18. Phew! Got there in the end 😜 Agree with the 2x Ks ***/**** had the answer to 22a but did not see it lurking 😬 Despite much head scratching! Favourites 1a & 11d 😍 Big thanks to the 2xKs and of course to Jay for another interesting and tricky offering 🙂

  19. Nice puzzle. Took a bit longer today. I was tempted by a different expression for 12a! Got 17a but had to confirm in the dictionary. 27a my favourite today. 2.5*/3*.

  20. I also found this to be trickier than recent Jay puzzles, and thought it had a lot in common with yesterday’s backpager – some excellent clues interspersed with the occasional unconvincing surface (6a and 20d for instance). Needless to say, I was also somewhat disappointed to see a setter of Jay’s calibre using two separate anagram indicators (“out” and “off”) twice each.

    My two ticks today went to 1a (I’ve always liked antirrhinums) and 24a.

    Many thanks to Mr. Mutch and the 2Ks.

  21. A good Wednesday crossword – it was nice to have the reminder that it’s almost a year since Kiwi Colin and I agreed to differ about Agapanthus.
    My main problem today was 1a – I spent far too long trying to make an answer out of the regular letters of ‘grandpa’s’ and something else – oh dear.
    I agree with Senf and RD about having trouble with the number of ‘L’s and ‘T’s in the first bit of 21a – I always do so I always look it up.
    I don’t care who I’m arguing with – I don’t think that shrews are anything like moles – they certainly don’t do the same amount of damage.
    I liked 21a and 4 and 11d. My favourite was 12a.
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s.
    Off to carry on with what I suspect is an unequal struggle with the Toughie.

  22. Another great entertainment from Jay. I had to confirm 17a in the dictionary.
    I needed the hints to know the “rest” part of 15a, never knew that and shall probably forget it in an hour or so!
    Loved 1a, they’re so pretty, but fave out of so many clever clues is probably 3d.
    Thanks to Jay, and to 2Kiwis for the hints. The agapanthus (is the plural agapanthi?) grows very well in the hills of Jamaica, I love them.

    1. Hmm – don’t know what the plural of agapanthus is and the BRB isn’t telling us. All I do know is that the plural of octopus isn’t octopi.

  23. Good afternoon everybody.

    Failed on four – 1a, 4d, 5d and 20d. 17a was new to me but fairly clear from the clue. 27a was my favourite not least because it took an age to get.


  24. Frustrated me as initially assumed not many anagrams but as usual I missed some of the pointers- wish there was a list of all these somewhere😕

    Never heard of systole.

    15a a great clue.

    Completely misread 25a. Had golfers (carrying clubs)!!

  25. Good morning all. It is always a pleasure to wake up on a Thursday morning and turn on the computer to find how people have got on with the puzzle while we have been asleep.
    An amazing coincidence that our plant/weed of the day was also an answer in the Independent puzzle. Almost spooky!
    Our very strange ‘summer’ weather continues to surprise. The country is having a visit from a ‘weather bomb’ at present that is causing severe gales in Wellington that are causing road closures while we, not much more than an hours drive away, have an overcast but calm morning. Very strange.

    1. I seem to remember that it took us much more than an hour to drive to you from Wellington – probably because I was driving and Chris wasn’t – just call him Mr Speedy – how he keeps his licence is a never-ending source of amazement to me. :unsure:

      1. Yes your’e right Kath. Central Wellington is about an hour and a half if the traffic is flowing freely and to the airport is half an hour further. Two members of our family in Wellington live towards the northern end of greater Wellington area and we think of them being about an hour away.

  26. D’oh thank you 2Ks I just couldn’t fathom the Quickie pun! Best I could do was to exclude 8a and come up with ‘powerstruck’.

    1. Jay seems to be the setter who gives us the more difficult Quickie puns. Or it just might be that we get that impression because his are the ones that we have to deal with each week. We have been known to email for assistance at times, but not with this one. People who do them in the paper have the help of italics to show how many words are involved if there are more than two. Wish they would do that with the on-line version too.

  27. Tougher than yesterday. If the sequence continues will have to start early to have a chance of finishing tomorrow.
    Took too long to be enjoyable but that was my fault I guess.
    Thanks to Jay and 2Ks .

  28. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle as usual from Jay. I was completely beaten by 1a&4d, didn’t have an inkling. Favourite was 21a.Was 3*/3* for me.

  29. Hello, 20d new word for me, and “hole in the head” for 12a scuppered me a little. I obviously need to talk to more medical people. oj.

  30. A good puzzle giving lots to think about. I liked 2d best, but there were many nice clues to consider.
    3/3* overall.
    Thanks to the Wednesday trio.

  31. 3/4 from me.. really enjoyed this best-of-the-week offering. I tried hard to complete it without pencil and paper and got there in the end but just before the 19th arrived. Fewer anagrams helped. Thanks Jay and 2Ks who were not needed but like the hard-shoulder, nice to have there. I guess i have a few favourites but who cares at this time of night.

  32. Forgot to mention my favourite today was 24a, the most famous one is not near the seaside, but the blazers worn there might be made from stolen deckchairs. oj.

  33. This was OK, I’d rate it at just below average for a back-pager but decent clues and fairly enjoyable. 2*/2.5*.

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