DT 28340 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28340

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28340

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Good morning everyone and welcome to what I’m pretty sure is a non-RayT Thursday, but I’m not going to hazard a guess as to the setter.  The puzzle was easily finished and would have been a 1* apart from one clue which held out for quite some time and pushed me into 2* time.  I’ll be interested to see how you all got on with 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           Programme putting retired friend in second vehicle (8)
SYLLABUS:  Start with S(econd) and a vehicle (think public transport) and insert (in) a friend or partner, but the friend is backwards (retired).

6a           Men trailing tight-knit group in field of operations (6)
SECTOR:  A tight-knit group, a religious one perhaps, is followed by (trailing) an abbreviation of private soldiers (men).

9a           It’s comical to dismiss a thought? (6)
MUSING:  Take a word describing something funny and remove (to dismiss) the A.  This clue is the one responsible for the second difficulty star. For no particular reason that I can see the penny took ages to drop.  

10a         A son straying in shot, showing surprise (8)
ASTONISH: A (from the clue) and S(on) are followed by an anagram (straying) of IN SHOT.

11a         Three notes on commonly-spoken bully, person changing sides (8)
DEFECTOR:  Three musical notes are followed (on) by a word meaning to bully or harass but it’s “commonly spoken” because it’s dropped its H.  I’m not keen on “note” meaning take your pick from letters A-G.  I’m also not keen on “little boy” meaning any shortened name like  Vic, Les, Tim etc.

12a         Expenditure in station previously disclosed (6)
OUTLAY:  Take a word meaning to station or to place and before it (previously) put a word meaning disclosed or exposed.

13a         Illegitimately placed like drainpipes? (5,3,4)
BELOW THE BELT:  These drainpipes are nothing to do with rainwater but are narrow legged trousers.  Where you’ll find them is where a boxer isn’t allowed to punch.

16a         Caterer found ground for sporting event (4,2,6)
TOUR DE FRANCE:  An anagram (ground) of CATERER FOUND.  The Tour of Valencia stated yesterday not far from here.

19a         Neglect the old man’s drink (4,2)
PASS UP:  Start with a short word for your old man (don’t forget the ‘S) and follow with a word for to drink and then split it all (4,2) and you’ll get a phrase meaning to neglect an opportunity.

21a         King in style is unstable, needing to be mutually supportive (8)
SISTERLY:  Insert (in) an R (king) into an anagram (unstable) of STYLE IS.

23a         Red voice stirred up one formerly in union (8)
DIVORCEE:  An anagram (stirred up) of RED VOICE.  Here’s one from The Big Yin . . .

24a         Showy culinary decoration with no end of chicken (6)
GARISH:  Take a culinary decoration, like the bit of scraggy salad on the side of the plate, and remove the N (with no end of chickeN).

25a         Male entering hairdressing establishment in pink (6)
SALMON:  Put an M(ale) into (entering) a hairdresser’s premises.

26a         Study session in University closed during court case (8)
TUTORIAL:  Take a U(niversity) and a word you might used to describe a closed door (2) and insert into a court case.  Does anyone actually use this word for closed nowadays?  My grandad used to say “pull the door **” but I haven’t heard it for years.


2d           Stake put under tree reportedly? Certainly (3,3)
YOU BET:  A stake or wager is place after (under in a down clue) a word which sounds like (reportedly) a tree which is often found in churchyards.

3d           Learning about island and river abroad (5)
LOIRE:  Take some traditional learning and insert an I(sland) and you’ll get a river in France.

4d           Live to possess country-house oven — confess that’s a trifle (9)
BAGATELLE:  A two letter word for live has inserted (to possess) a make of cooking range and a word meaning to confess or spill the beans.  These ranges aren’t just in country houses.  My mate has one and he lives in Manchester suburbia.

5d           Flier in queue weighed down by box (7)
SPARROW:  A queue or line is after (weighed down by in a down clue) a word for to box.

6d           Fight arranged with pair in audience (3-2)
SET TO:  Take a word for arranged or placed and then a word which sounds like (in audience) a pair.

7d           Old artist seen in studies list (9)
CONSTABLE:  One of the usual studies (don’t forget the S again) is followed by a list, of data perhaps.  Hands up all those who tried to put O and RA into some studies to get a list.

8d           Floating boats on sides of channel close to huge dam (8)
OBSTACLE:  An anagram (floating) of BOATS and then CL (sides of ChanneL) and finally an E (close to hugE).

13d         Lawyers joined by good man in standard campaign? (9)
BARNSTORM:  The place that QC’s are called to is followed by a word for standard or par with the usual two letters for a “good man” inserted (in).

14d         Place part of rifle to follow deer in retrospect (9)
HINDSIGHT: Start with a female deer and after it (to follow) put the part of a rifle used for aiming.

15d         Animal so restless as subject of painting (4,4)
MONA LISA:  An anagram (restless) of ANIMAL SO.

17d         Particular  consideration (7)
RESPECT:  Double definition.

18d         State as parochial as Kansas in part (6)
ALASKA:  This lurker (in part) is hiding in parochial as Kansas.

20d         Nut about to get inside enclosure (5)
PECAN:  Put one of the abbreviations of about into an enclosure, for sheep perhaps.

22d         Haul up some dancer or reveller making slip (5)
ERROR:  Another lurker (some) in dancer or reveller but this one’s backwards (haul up in a down clue).

No real stand-out favourite for me but 13a and 8d are worth a mention in dispatches.

Quickie pun:  DEEP  +  HEARTS  =  DEPARTS

79 comments on “DT 28340

  1. Nothing untoward, no real problems encountered. 13A was my pick of the day. Thanks to the setter & Pommers for his review. Looks like the rain is stopping down hear in the deep south.

  2. P. 26a. Re your comment: Larry Grayson saying: “Ooooh, pull that door to!” probably wouldn’t have the same effect but that’s what my gran used to say.

    1. Fortunately for me I’d forgotten about Larry Grayson. Unfortunately you’ve now reminded me.

        1. He was too. It is notable that no shock horror tabloid nasties have surfaced. Ask Isla St Clair. Larry was just a really nice chap.

  3. Thanks to the setter and to Pommers for the review and hints. A largely straightforward puzzle, but a few clues made me think. Started with 3d, bit of an old chestnut, finished with 21a, a nice partial anagram. Favourite was 13a. Was 2*/3* for me. Just started drizzling in Central London.

  4. Back to normality (if there is such a thing) and minus 19 degrees C (which is below seasonal normal).

    Quite a lot of head scratching for this one, especially in the NW corner which also required some electronic assistance – 2.5*/3* for me.

    Three candidates for favourite – 9a, 7d, and 14d – and the winner is 14d.

    Thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  5. I agree with the ratings that pommers has given.
    I also agree that this is not a Ray T – mostly because it doesn’t feel like one of his but also because it’s a Beam Toughie and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in both places on the same day – I’ll now wait for someone to prove me wrong.
    I had a spot of bother with 9a but only because I didn’t know that it could be a noun – a visit to the BRB sorted that out.
    I found the 18a lurker with no trouble at all and was so busy feeling smug that I missed the one in the next clue but one – oh dear.
    I was a bit slow with the 16a anagram mainly because I convinced myself that the middle word had to be ‘OF’.
    I liked 13a and 2 and 8d.
    Thanks to today’s setter, whoever he may be, and to pommers.

    1. I hadn’t checked out the Toughie when I wrote the review but I have now and a very fine puzzle it is. Not much harder than some of his back-pagers. As a toughie I’d give it **/****.

  6. Straightforward but reasonably enjoyable. */**. No stand out favourite for me and many were a bit obvious.

    In any event thanks to the compiler and to Pommers.

    Grey and cool (70F) here this morning but it will warm up!

  7. Nothing tricky in this one, a steady plod; no stand-out clues. A rather dull day. Thanks to setter and to Pommers.

          1. I’m guessing it may be a variation of the corny old Kilmarnock joke:

            “Name three fish whose names begin and end with the letter K.”

            “I can’t think of any.”

            “1) killer shark; 2) king haddock; 3) Kilmarnock.”

            “But Kilmarnock’s not a fish.”

            “Yes it is. It’s a plaice!”

            1. Thankyou for putting me out of my misery! Now that you’ve said that, I can (half) remember someone (perhaps SL?) telling a similar joke.

              1. Good memory, Toadson. It was only a few months ago. SL’s version is the one with Kwiksave Frozen Haddock (as cited above by Wahoo):

                DT 28224

  8. 4*/2*. I started as usual in the NW corner and after an almost fruitless struggle with only 5d written in, I moved on to the NE which fell into place followed by the bottom half on close to a R&W basis. I went back to the NW and my struggles continued for quite a while until I finally managed to complete it in an overall 4* time. With hindsight I have no idea why I found one corner so difficult.

    I thought a lot of the surfaces were a bit iffy and I agree with pommers about using “three notes” meaning to pick any three (presumably different) letters from A-G.

    13a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron (Can we still use that name now that the mystery setter on Tuesday this week came out and styled himself as Mister Ron? Perhaps this one is Mr Ron II) and to pommers.

    1. RD. Tuesday’s Mister Ron.
      If you go to the blog that Kitty did for Toughie 1748 and scroll down the comments until you find an avatar that looks a bit familiar then you should be able to work out who that Mister Ron is.
      Today’s is definitely a different Mr Ron whose identity we have had a guess at below

  9. My first stab at 11a was “deserter” – well, a “hurter” could be a bully. Like Pommers, I’m not very keen on this clue for the reasons he gave. Apart from that, no particular holdups. Thank you setter and Pommers.

  10. Just for the record, I don’t agree with RD or pommers – I’m perfectly happy with “note” or “notes” to denote any of A-G in the answer and also “little boy” or similar to mean a shortened forename. These are cryptic clues and puzzling devices like these are fine (and common).

  11. I agree wholeheartedly with earlier comments about the clue of the day being 13a. The 18d lurker was my last one in, and overall I thought this was a 2*/3* puzzle. To join the discussion about the three notes, I confess I only got them once the end of the clue was complete. No problem with that as a device, although perhaps a little clumsy when there were potentially alternative clues.

    That said, enjoyable enough, so thanks to our Thursday setter and Pommers.

  12. I well remember in the unheated houses of my youth being told to pull the door to, or put wood in hole. Despite this and pommies help I still had to “click here!” I struggled with the S E corner. Thank you for setter and hints.

          1. As a child I heard it as “put wood a toy” without really fathoming where that came from but now all is revealed – thanks Pommers!

    1. Ah memories. I remember waking up to find my bedroom curtains frozen stiff, where they had soaked up the condensation from the Crittall windows. How spoilt we all are now.

  13. 13a made me smile. I expect the 23 video may do too, and will check that out when I get home. Thanks to the setter and pommers.

  14. Interesting to read the differences in opinion as to how hard this puzzle was. I found it quite tricky . Managed to finish without any help but needed Pommers to understand 10a and 11a. 3.5*/3* Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

  15. No holdups today and have to agree with Pommers **/***.Thought station was a bit weak for lay, but I’m sure it occurs in some reference book ! no other gripes.
    Liked 11a and 24a
    Like JEN above I remember the unheated house of my childhood, the ice patterns on the inside of the windows and the visible breath trails -no duvets, just blankets and my granddad’s great coat from WW 1- just like a Dickens novel.

  16. Pleasant enough puzzle that took a while to get started then clicked into place fairly quickly. Liked 7d , but not 11a. Thanks to the setter and pommers.

  17. Dear me, that was tough. Just couldn’t get on the right wavelength. Come back Ray T 😏
    For me ***/*

  18. Definitely not a RayT, to my mind. Far too straightforward, but good fun while it lasted. I’ll go against the tide and name 13d as my top trump (ooer, can we still say that). Ta to Pommers – I shall be in your country soon to play some music, but too far south to pop in and say hello – and to our setter. 1*/3*

    1. Especially for Jane as promised on Saturday, but please everyone enjoy my future son-in-law’s band live at the Union Chapel last year. He’s the beardy singer …

      1. I can picture the Amazon delivery man making his way to Jane’s door with the complete works of The Milk

        1. That’s three albums and counting, with a fourth commissioned by the record company and a UK tour in September. Catch them id you can, they really are good live. Currently supporting Fun Lovin’ Criminals on UK dates

        2. I’m surprised Amazon is not also on its way to LI. The new album (CD, vinyl and DL) Live at the Union Chapel is the one to get on Wah-Wah 45s, it’s that concert in full. I was there. Trust me

  19. Hurrah for me! Managed this one unaided but definitely needed the hints for the parsings.
    My self confidence is gradually coming back.

    I admit to trying to fit in O and RA in 7d and also got 9a last.

    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

  20. Hi Pommers, thanks for the blog today, I had to have lots of help!!!! blaming my relentless cough and cold!!!!
    I didn’t particularly like 9a or 11a … and overall not one of my favourite crosswords, I’ve been told the toughies haven’t been to bad this week, might just take a peek!

    1. The Beam is pretty good. I see that Bufo has given it 4* difficulty but I didn’t find it that hard. Worth a look.

  21. A few of the surfaces were a little unconvincing perhaps, but on the whole I quite enjoyed this.

    A steady solve with no real hold-ups, my three ticked clues were 16a, 25a and 2d. It’s interesting to see a wide range of different clues nominated as favourites today.

    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers,

  22. Phew! I found this quite a struggle and am glad there are other bloggers with similar feelings however I did make it in the end thanks to considerabl electronic help. I too nominate 13a for Fav. Last 3 letters of 12a didn’t occur to me in the ‘station’ context. Thanks setter and Pommers.

  23. I found it tricky enough, with 13 down being the main problem.I haven’t heard of it.
    13a is a good clue but I prefer 1a.
    Thanks to pommers and the setter.

  24. An ok sort of puzzle for me. No real stand outs with 13a just about being favourite.
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Pommers for the review.

  25. I enjoyed this, many good clues. My last in, and the only one needing my gizmo, was 11a. I, too, was confused by the three notes.
    I don’t think I can choose a fave, too many choices, maybe 13a?
    Thanks to setter, and to pommers for sorting some, 26a in particular.

    Godson’s parents arriving from the Highlands today on their way to Jamaica, and I’m so looking forward to their visit.

  26. The first bird I lighted upon was a Swallow which caused a bit of grief – couldn’t parse it and it didn’t help with 11a!
    No other problems to report and nothing really stood out as having favourite potential but – I did rather like the commonly spoken bully.

    Thanks to Mr. Ron and to Pommers – no. 2 daughter used to run the Fired Earth store in Chelford, maybe where your mate got suckered into buying one of those rather pricey cookers!

  27. What has happened to all the setter guessers today? We confidently wrote Shamus in the margin when we were solving.
    11a held us up for a little while. We thought of several words that fitted the checkers and almost fitted the definition before we hit on the correct one. Strangely enough the word that we most fancied before we found the right one turned up as an answer in the Toughie.
    A good fun puzzle we thought.
    Thanks Mr Ron (Shamus) and pommers.

    1. I wrote Shamus alongside 2d but then lost confidence further down the grid.
      I guess we’ll have to wait and see if he owns up!

  28. I enjoyed this, although I did not find it as easy as some did. Favourite today was the amusing 13a.
    Thanks to the setter and thanks to pommers.

  29. A fairly gentle puzzle for a Thursday. Really liked 9a&8d. Thanks to the setter and Pommers for the review.

  30. I really enjoyed this. Apart from my ‘swallow’ for 5d instead of ‘sparrow’ and my being defeated by 11a, no other problem. Did not realise that 16a was an anagram but guessed the answer – would have been miffed otherwise! My favourite clue is 13a. Got the lurker in 18d, pleased with myself as I often miss these. 2*/3*. Fifi fine, starting to sleep longer at night… Counting the days till we can take her out – 12. Quarantine hard to bear!

  31. Not really on this setter’s wavelength, I am afraid, but we got there in the end. A 3/3 from us. Paso had to do the majority of the donkey work as Doble made a quick visit to Woman’s Hour today to discuss her new-found career and met the marvellous Jenni Murray!

  32. Please, please, please may we have some photos from the party on Saturday properly annotated so that we can fit faces to names.

  33. 1*/3* – a pleasant little tussle – and 1a my favourite clue. Ta to the setter, and to Pommers.

  34. I was very slow to get going, but then it all slowly came together, with 17d being last in for some reason.

  35. Yet another crossword that is beyond me…
    Time for about 15 hints…
    Who is the bully in 11a

  36. Just checking in before bed to say – 2 really good crosswords today that I thoroughly enjoyed (BP & T). A thoroughly good workout for the old grey matter and none the worst for it.

    So thanks to both setters and both reviewers for the enjoyment.

    I’m sorry that most people didn’t enjoy the ‘Kilmarnock’ joke (re – post 7) as being from that ‘plaice’ – I will always remember it. I do have others :)

  37. I finished this but was slow…..my experience was not 1* more like 3*

    Am intrigued by how much this happens! Because there are other days when I agree with the ratings

  38. Very similar to the previous 3 this week – average, nothing remarkable and quite enjoyable. 2*/3*.

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