DT 28369 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28369

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28369

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****


Kia ora from Aotearoa.
It had to happen. Our spell of perfect summer weather has taken a couple of days off so that farmers and keen gardeners can have a top up of their water requirements. We have only had a sprinkling here but hear on the news there is some flooding and power outages in more northern parts of the country. Carol has been away in Wellington for a few days but has just made it back in time for us to be able to do the blog together as usual.

This one took us almost exactly the same time as last week’s offering from Jay with some clever cluing to keep us amused.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     In a hurry to go after firm in financial difficulties (4-7)
HARD-PRESSED : A word meaning firm or solid and then one meaning in a hurry or forced to speed up.

9a     Stress needing Junior to queue (9)
UNDERLINE : Junior or subservient to and then a queue of people waiting.

10a     Names conditions (5)
TERMS : A double definition. The conditions could be the small print on a contract.

11a     Puzzle that’s new in processing image (6)
ENIGMA : An anagram (processing) of IMAGE contains the abbreviation for new.

12a     Bank subsidy about to disappear (8)
GRADIENT : A word meaning disappear or expire is inside a word for a subsidy or bequest.

13a     Scratch session after game (3,3)
RUB OUT : New Zealand’s national game and a session of possibly boxing or wrestling.

15a     Cruel but popular chap put in shade (8)
INHUMANE : The two letter abbreviation for popular and a synonym for a chap is inside a shade or colour.

18a     Party people’s contribution (8)
DONATION : A two letter word for a party and a word for the people belonging to a country.

19a     Comments overheard when accommodating team? (6)
ASIDES : A short word meaning when surrounds a sports team.

21a     Wife after company loses footing getting flowers (8)
COWSLIPS : The abbreviation for company, then the one for wife and a word for loses footing, perhaps on an icy surface.

23a     Billions invested in tired horses (6)
STABLE : The abbreviation for billions is inside a word meaning tired or past its use by date to give a collective word for a group of horses.

26a     Daughter with scar brooded (5)
DWELT : The abbreviation for daughter and a word for a scar or raised ridge of skin.

27a     Taking in and converting into cash (9)
REALISING : Double definition. Taking in here means understanding.

28a     Lost pilot greets one providing a moving experience (11)
POLTERGEIST : An anagram (lost) of PILOT GREETS. The moving experience could cause things to go bump in the night.


1d     Arrogance of Mann shunning human nature perversely (7)
HAUTEUR : An anagram (perversely) of HUman nATURE after Mann has been removed.

2d     More than one spoke in ring (5)
RADII : A cryptic definition of the lines that join the centre of a circle to its circumference.

3d     Soldier on hill is of the greatest importance (9)
PARAMOUNT : An airborne soldier and a significant kind of hill.

4d     No good in vaudeville (4)
EVIL : A lurker hiding in the last word of the clue.

5d     Cutting losses at last, prior to trial (8)
SHEARING : The final letter (at last) of losses and then a trial or court case.

6d     Old-fashioned parent eats these without stuffing (5)
DATED : These without stuffing means the first and last letters of ‘these’ which are found inside a male parent.

7d     Award for old crossword compiler, right to rise to the top (7)
ROSETTE : The abbreviation for old and then another name for a crossword compiler. Now move the last letter (R) to the front of the answer. (Top in a down clue).

8d     ‘Carte blanche’ should be written this way? (8)
FREEHAND : The answer written as 4,4 is the entitlement of somebody who is given carte blanche.

14d     Growth of problem with river flowing north (8)
BINDWEED : A problem or something that ties you up, then the abbreviation for ‘with’ and the reversal of a familiar river.

16d     Out of bed, scenery becomes disturbing (9)
UPSETTING : A two letter word meaning out of bed and scenery or background.

17d     My quiet test for a member of the armed services (8)
CORPORAL : A word meaning ‘my’ as an expression of wonder, then the musical abbreviation for quiet and a spoken test.

18d      Case of delicate fruity drink providing the final contest (7)
DECIDER : The first and last letters (case) of delicate and then a drink made from apples.

20d     Manual dexterity of son with learner crew (7)
SLEIGHT : The abbreviations for son and learner followed by a rowing crew.

22d     Lull, with lease finishing (3-2)
LET-UP : Lease or rent and then finishing or over.

24d     Mainly lacking vision, one dish from Russia (5)
BLINI : Remove the last letter from a word meaning lacking vision and then the Roman numeral One.

25d     Fish expert suppressed by Germany (4)
DACE : The IVR code for Germany and then an expert or virtuoso.

Our favourite this week is 1d.

Quickie pun      tin    +    kerb    +    hell    =    Tinkerbell

60 comments on “DT 28369

  1. 3*/4*. I thought this was a nicely challenging and really enjoyable puzzle from start to finish. Once again, with only excellent clues as far as the eye can see, singling one out is very hard. 1d deserves a special mention for its ultra-smooth and relevant surface, but it just gets pipped as my favourite by 8d.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  2. Very enjoyable needing a little ‘outside of the box’ thinking. Following yesterday’s discussion, I tackled the (Tues) Toughie last night and this morning. Very good, but a level up from the back pager, I thought.

  3. Ditto to RD’s comments, although perhaps nearer 2* for difficulty. 1d gets a mention for the wry smile it raised when I found it a challenge to spell the answer correctly with all the letters jumbled up in front of me, but my favourite was also 8d.

    Thanks to Jay and to the re-united 2Ks – glad to hear that you won’t have to get the watering cans out today!

  4. Trickier than yesterday especially the top half . Having put stemming into 5d ( don’t really no why now ) I struggled in this corner , and yet once this one fell the rest walked into the pen as if being controlled by “Babe” . Favourites 1a and 7d but didn’t really feel I enjoyed this overmuch .Wednesdays can be bit on the grim side , unless you like a good grind or a devotee of Jay . Nevertheless thanks to the 2k’s and the setter ***/** .

  5. I wrote **/*** on completion and cleverly clued in agreement with the 2 K’S, not many ‘write ins’ and lots of challenges -but no obscure words.
    Liked 7d and the surface of 8d and 15a as I like charades!
    Thanks to the 2k,s for the pics, and the quickie pun amused..

  6. I found this quite straight forward with the exception of 1d, which was probably my favourite. For me, on the easy side for a Jay puzzle. 2*/3* Many thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis.

  7. **/**** with a list of nine candidates for favourite and I think that 8d comes out top.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  8. 1.5*/4* for this excellent Jay puzzle that was fairly easy to solve but was a joy from start to finish. 8d was easily my COTD, although several others came close.

    Many thanks to all three birds involved.

  9. I think I’d have to give it a bit more than 1* for difficulty and I agree with the 4* for enjoyment.
    By the time I had alternate letters in 1d the answer was pretty obvious but it took me ages to see why.
    The other one that took a long time was 14d – how silly – we have masses of it in the garden.
    I liked 21 and 28a and 2d. My favourite was 8d.
    With thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s.
    I’m having a battle with the Toughie – maybe I’ll go up the garden for a while and come back to it later.

      1. I did eventually but it took me a very long time and I’d almost given up – kept wondering who Mann was. Oh dear.

  10. Mu(t)ch more of a puzzle to my taste today, a coincidence presumably that the grid was identical to yesterday.

    So many superb and clever clues to savour, I’ve whittled my favourites down to a shortlist of five – 1a, 28a, 1d, 7d and 8d.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Colin and Carol.

  11. The usual splendid Wednesday puzzle. **/**** from us with 1d a clear favourite.

    There are rivers with the name of the one in 14d in Aberdeenshire, Wales/Cheshire, Galloway, Cumbria, Ireland and in Australia in Queensland and Tasmania. i wonder which one Jay meant?

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

        1. His previous clues featuring that river give no indication of which one he has in mind:

          Wed 14 Jul 10 DT26292 Difficult to comprehend river patrol’s leader (4) DEEP
          Wed 23 Mar 11 DT26507 Exploits river deposits heartlessly (5) DEEDS
          Wed 1 May 13 DT27166 Rising river in US city wanting attention (5) NEEDY

          1. hi Mr. K,
            Harking back to yesterday’s puzzle, I have to say what a wealth of talent is to be found amongst our contributors. Your appeal for Swahili info. has now been answered by at least two confirmed experts in the field. How’s that for professional input!

            1. Absolutely! The commentariat provided information that Google could not. This truly is a special place.

  12. NE corner held me up badly & needed hint for 12a to sort it all out. Can’t see why I didn’t make the right word associations, just didn’t. Also 5d has been in very recently I’m sure yet didn’t get that right out.
    Very enjoyable until I started banging my head against the brick wall.
    8d was COTD for me.
    Thanks to the J for the test and 2K’s for the helping hand. (& the rest of the hints)

  13. A fine Wednesday challenge from Jay. Some nice clues of which 8d is the one I liked best. 2/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Mr M, and to the 2K’s for their review.

  14. Quite straightforward apart from NE corner 🙁 **/*** Thanks to J & 2Ks Favourite 12a

  15. Not on wavelength today, but got there in the end with a little electronic help. Slowed down by inserting receiving at 27a on the first pass. My favourite is 12a. Thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks.

  16. Thoroughly enjoyed today’s puzzle, but certainly did not find it easy.

    Many thanks to the 2Kiwis and to the setter for a nice start to Budget Day.

  17. Great workout, really enjoyed this. I did make a mistake with 14d, I put “banewort” as the answer. Well, bane could be a problem, and if there’s Trowbridge, surely it crosses the river Trow? Eventually it got sorted.
    I needed the hints to understand 1d, good one that.
    I liked so much of this, but I think my fave is also 8d, but, really, any other clue could just as easily have won first place.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis for their hints, particularly helping me with 1d.

  18. IMHO this inside back-pager was a bit-run-of-the-mill but nevertheless was a gentle diversion whilst half watching Philip Hammond delivering his Budget – no windfalls there though! Unusual to have blooming rather than rippling flowers in 21a. Can’t pick a Fav. Thank you Jay and the 2Ks.

  19. * for difficulty, you must be joking! Its at least a 2.5 or it certainly was for me. Another daft capitalisation in 1d (this is becoming a disturbing trend) and die for disappear? Hardly! My fav was def 8d, very clever and more to the point accurate which is more than can be said for a number of sloppy clues this week.
    Thx to all

    1. The Dodo died out. Brian you always have your grumpy pants on. Today you have the socks and hat to match

  20. We thought this was at least a ** but a **** for enjoyment. Thanks to Jay for a most entertaining puzzle and to the 2Ks for their usual lively blog.

  21. Good afternoon everybody.

    Mostly straightforward today but held up by a handful of clues at the end. Favourites 12a, 27a and last in 7d. Couldn’t see the logic of 1d at all yet it turns out to have been pretty simple. Gah!


  22. Enjoying the puzzles this week, we are being treated. Thought this was great, once again.
    Many thanks to Jay and to 2Ks – the pic of bindweed sent shivers down my spine, ugh!

    1. Don’t start me on bindweed but ground elder is even worse – it’s been said that if you have ground elder you either have to learn to live with it or move house.

      1. True, that is #2 on the list, but you can’t fight against nature; why would you want to unless you were a hunter or a farmer… :smile:

  23. Delighted to get 1d👍

    Not heard of a dace fish.

    Still smarting after chucking 2 points away in injury time last night😠

  24. A tad above one star , especially since 14d eluded me, although I remember spending a long time removing it in the distant past. I kept thinking the ” problem ” was BO.
    Lots of nice clues , including 13a, 22d, and 8d.
    With thanks to Jay , Carol and Colin.

  25. **/****. Great entertainment with a few aha moments and smiles. Favourites were 7&8d. Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay.

  26. A very nice puzzle, it took me a while to get going but it came together very nicely. 1d was my favourite!

  27. Morning all.
    Looks like we underestimated the difficulty stars for this one. When we were solving it felt to be more difficult than one star but when we got to the end with all the parsing sorted and looked at the clock we were quite surprised at how long it had taken us. After some discussion we went with this actual time and in retrospect should have trusted our first impressions. Sorry about that.
    Weather update. We have still just had a few light showers here while the upper third of the North Island has had severe very damaging downpours and there is still more predicted for today. Lots of people are struggling to cope with the floods.
    With 14d we gave ourselves a little surprise. We don’t use the word bindweed here and although we knew the word thought it was a plant we did not get here. It was only when we were looking for a pic that we realised that bindweed is what we also hate and always call convolvulus.

    1. They are slightly different plants, with what we call bindweed proper being the horrid and invasive sister of the quite pretty Convolvulus.

      Two types: “Hedge bindweed, bellbind (Calystegia sepium) and field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)” – Royal Horticultural Society.

      Weeds are only plants and flowers that grow naturally where a gardener doesn’t want them, but many of them are to be appreciated in my view… but bindweed; I’d move house.

      1. I have one called volubilis on my terrace. So invasive that it clings onto anything but the blue flowers twisting back in the evening are such a lovely sight.

    2. The fragrant honeysuckle spirals clockwise to the sun,
      And many other creepers do the same.
      But some climb anti-clockwise, the bindweed does, for one,
      Or Convolvulus, to give her proper name.

      1. Merusa,
        Convolulus is too posh for a weed.
        How’s the back now? Getting about better?

        1. Getting there, much, much better, and being able to get in the pool daily certainly helps. My problem is that my inner self feels like a teenager but the packaging is saying otherwise! Cheers.

        2. It’s a bloody weed in my garden LROK1!!
          What a comeback by Barcelona last night!!

  28. The plant in 14d gave me a lot of trouble.
    Thought I was looking for a medical term and the first word was bone for problem (as it is in France: Hit or meet a bone or fall on a bone).
    Apart from that it went well.
    Favourite 1a.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

  29. Just into 2* territory, and 3.5* for satisfaction. I enjoyed 14d and 17d, but 6d – my last in – was favourite. Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

  30. I got stuck with several in the top right corner. I finally gave it best and resorted to the hints which always reduces the enjoyment from a solving point of view – but increases the education value. Many thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.
    I should have realised that any crossword with bindweed embedded in it, would give me a lot of trouble. Should anyone ever feel tempted to rotavate a garden, first check there are only annual weeds and especially not bindweed. I am still digging it up 40 years later!

  31. I would put this in the satisfyingly difficult category, challenging but not silly, ** rating for me. Favorite was 8d, followed by 7d. 12a and 15a were last in, and only after 2Kiwis hints, thanks. Just could not figure those 2 out, even after 2nd coffee. We are inundated with two vine type weeds here in S. Florida, one of which is large leaved and rampant, growing rapidly in our ficus hedges. All you can is keep pulling it out, bit I fear we are losing the battle.

    1. I’m plagued by moonflower, it’s everywhere, in the trees, in the bushes, impossible to get rid of. The bird love the seeds, that’s how they spread. Another one is the asparagus fern. I love the birds, but please, leave those pesky seeds behind!

      1. I would like to rip out the ficus, and replace with Calusia, which is slower growing and does not have dangerous roots, but fear it would cost too much, for decent sized shrubs. But it would be offset by the high cost of hedge trimming…

  32. Well, that was good. Probably easing into *** difficulty territory for me, especially in the NE and SE corners. Looking back everything seems as easy as could be, which is often the sign of a good puzzle.

  33. I’ve been dittoing RD a lot recently so today I will instead ditto Jane at no. 3. Just for a change.

    Thanks Mutchly to Jay for the encryption and to the 2Kiwis for the decryption. No weeds here.

  34. Another good ‘un from Jay. Not too difficult, but very enjoyable. I’ll go with 7d as my favourite, purely because I was looking for ‘araucaria’ to fit in somewhere – stupid, I know. Nonetheless, a super clue.

    Thanks to Jay for the fun and to the 2K’s for their usual top review.

    I bet there’s not a place to be had in Aotearoa in the forthcoming Lions Tour.

  35. Unlike most others, I found this the easiest Jay I can remember and completed, bar one, on the first pass. I suggest always starting with the down clues on a Wednesday – it generally helps. That does not mean it was unenjoyable, quite the reverse. Ta to him and the slightly moist K’s. 28a gets the 7d simply because I admire anyone who can get it into general conversation, never mind a crossword. 1*/3*

  36. Needed a nudge to get over the NE corner, but a tricky Jay, harder than *, but I appreciate that it’s hard for experts to rate the back page.
    Late today, thanks to Jay and 2xK’s

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