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DT 28370

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28370

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Morning all and welcome to a RayThursday.  I don’t think you’ll find this puzzle too difficult but it’s a “proper” RayT with a few stretched synonyms, a bit of innuendo and Her Majesty on parade. You’ll need your lateral thinking cap in some places but I found it a lot of fun.

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           Initially baggy rear in evidence for some pants (6)
BRIEFS:  First letters (initially) of the next six words of the clue. Here’s one for the ladies . . .

4a           Fancy woman resists running after male (8)
MISTRESS:  Anagram (running) of RESISTS placed after an M(ale).

9a           Threaten current politician facing termination (6)
IMPEND:  The letter for electric current in physics notation is followed by the usual two letter politician and a word for termination.

10a         One gives nearly complete care protecting this writer (8)
ALTRUIST:  A word for complete or everything without its last letter (nearly) and then a word for care as in protection placed around how the writer of this puzzle might refer to himself.

11a         Old victory secured by sovereign territory (8)
PROVINCE:  O(ld) and V(ictory) are inserted into (secured by) the sovereign of a country such as Monaco.  Instead of a photo of the Monaco Grand Prix I’ve gone for a bit of music . . .

13a         One who loathes consuming energy for fire (6)
HEATER:  Someone who loathes or dislikes is placed around (consuming) an E(nergy) to give something that a fire is an example of.  Shouldn’t there be a “perhaps” or at least a ? at the end as fire is a definition by example?

15a         Stickler for niceties breaking down in physical training (13)
PERFECTIONIST:  Anagram (breaking down) of FOR NICETIES inserted into (in) the two letter abbreviation of physical training.

18a         A neighbour’s key cut out for crime (13)
HOUSEBREAKING:  Anagram (out) of A NEIGHBOURS KE(y) but it’s without the Y as the key is cut.  I thought this word was hyphenated but apparently not.

22a         Hardship of ship worker reportedly (6)
RIGOUR:  Sounds like (reportedly) a worker on a sailing ship.  I remember doing this on Firenze. It’s not easy when the boat’s out at sea!

24a         Dispatch square leg at Edgbaston to cover (8)
RELEGATE:  A lurker.  The answer is hidden in (to cover) “square leg at Edgbaston”.

26a         Extensive debts following limits being withdrawn (8)
SPACIOUS:  The usual debts or promissory notes are placed after (following) a word for limits, council spending for example, which is reversed (withdrawn).

27a         Fortified outside pub, like a fish? (6)
FINNED:  Fortified as in nourished is placed around (outside) one of the usual three letter pubs.

28a         Uncertainty beginning to see pound’s dropped in value (8)
SUSPENSE:  Start with a S (beginning to See) and follow with a word for value as in utility.  Into this insert (dropped in) a word for a pound or enclosure (don’t forget the S).

29a         Sex details of French Resistance (6)
GENDER:  Details or information followed by the French word for OF and the R(esistance).


1d           Hollow balloons, frail inside? (6 )
BLIMPS:  “Hollow balloons” means take the inside letters out of balloons to leave BS.  Into this you need to insert (inside) a word meaning frail to give you some balloons like those used for advertising by a certain tyre manufacturer.  I’m not 100% convinced by this clue but I like it anyway.

2d           Spontaneous rogue Trump improbably taking over (9)
IMPROMPTU:  Start with a rogue, or at least someone who causes trouble in a playful way, and follow with an anagram (improbably) of TRUMP placed around (taking) an O(ver).  Splendidly topical methinks.

3d           Devotee follower caught Queen penning single (7)
FANCIER:  This might be a devotee of racing pigeons and he’s a follower or supporter followed by C(aught) and the usual two letters for Her Majesty with an I (single) inserted (penning).

5d           Man say, remains superior to the French (4)
ISLE:  This Man is in the middle of the Irish Sea.   It’s a word that means remains as in lives placed before (superior to in a down clue) the French word for THE.

6d           Bombshell split party holding power (7)
TORPEDO:  Take a word for split (past tense) and the usual party and insert (holding) a P(ower).

7d           Be leaving, accepting direction (5)
EXIST:  Take a word for leave and insert (accepting) a point of the compass (direction).

8d           Settled charge with University admittance is steep (8)
SATURATE:  Steep with its meaning of to soak or marinate. Start with a word for settled, in an armchair perhaps, and follow with a charge as in hourly fee. Into this insert (with . . . . admittance) the single letter for University.

12d         The woman swathed in blubber getting red (6)
CHERRY:  A word for the or that woman is inserted into (swathed in) a word for blubber as in weep.

14d         In past RAF employed machinegun (6)
STRAFE:  Another lurker. To machinegun someone from an aircraft is hidden in (in) “past RAF employed”.

16d         Fixed hip secured round end of femur (9)
INGRAINED:  A word for hip or fashionable followed by a word for secured or obtained placed around an R (end of femuR).

17d         Refrains from tasks with useless content (8)
CHORUSES:  Some routine tasks  are placed around (with . . . content) the abbreviation of useless.

19d         Learned sweetheart’s bawdy about sex (7)
ERUDITE:  Start with an E (swEet heart) and then a word for bawdy and place it all around (about) a euphemism for sex.

20d         Record times broken in one event’s opening (7)
ITEMISE:  Start with a I (one) and an E (Event’s opening) and insert (in) an anagram (broken) of TIMES.

21d         Binge, oddly nude, consumed by drink (6)
BENDER:  The odd letters of NuDe are inserted into (consumed by) an alcoholic drink made from malt and hops.

23d         Attack small animals (5)
GOATS:  A two word phrase for to attack (2,2) followed by S(mall).

25d         Turn over secure weapons (4)
GUNS:  Take a word for secure or sheltered and reverse it (turn over).

Some good stuff here and a few more photo opportunities than usual so greatly enjoyed.  My favourite was the splendid lurker at 24a with 2d and 23d sharing the podium but it was a pretty tight photo-finish.

Quick crossword pun:    JUDGE   +   HIT   +   SUE   =   JUJITSU


72 comments on “DT 28370

  1. I found this trickier in places than recent RayT offerings but an enjoyable solve nonetheless.

    Thanks to pommers and RayT ***/****

  2. 4*/5*. I loved this but I thought it was the toughest Ray T back-pager that I can remember with the NE & SW holding out the longest. 28a was my last one in as it took me ages to parse.

    The juxtaposition of 29a & 21d raised a smile. My favourite 2d provided a LOL moment.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to pommers.

    1. 28a was my LOI as well. Fairly obvious answer from the checkers but it did take a while for the penny to drop on how it works.

    2. Hi RD – missed the 29a/21d connection until you mentioned it. An extra smile for the day.

  3. Absolutely wonderful – especially when the cricket clue turned out not to be!
    As always, it’s tough to single out a favourite so I’ll just go for a top three of 18a plus 1&2d.

    Devotions to Mr. T and thanks to Pommers for the pictorial review – the baby 23’s were delightful but I gave up very rapidly on the depressing 11a clip!

  4. For me this was about RayT’s usual difficulty, so it’s my own fault that it took me a little longer than the time I’d assigned for it. It’s just so hard to get up in the mornings.

    I do have bruised shins as I drew a complete blank at the parsing of 28a. Couldn’t get the pounds even though I should have.

    Extremely enjoyable, so it’s a shame that the time pressure meant I couldn’t savour it more fully. I liked the RayT trademarks and the topicality.

    Many thanks to RayT for ticking all my boxes (though if you do that in the grid it registers as wrong). Finally, many thanks to pommers.

  5. I found this pretty tough couldn’t really get a decent start once the two long across clues went in progress slowly advanced. Toughest RayT for me yet.
    Thanks to Pommersand RatT for the brain ache.

  6. I am pleased I wasnt the only one to find this tough. I only got about halfway before having to resort to the hints. Some very tenuous links, not one of Ray,s better puzzles in my opinion. 4.5*/2* Many thanks to Ray and especially to Pommers, without whose help I would have been completely bamboozled.

  7. Tricky, tricky, tricky – I worked my way through steadily but got stuck on 23d and 28a and needed the blog to finish.

    Thanks for that, time to get on!

  8. I’d go for mostly Ray T with an odd smidgeon of Beam to hold me up so that I took a bit longer to finish that a ‘usual’ Mr T Backpager – 3*/3* from me

  9. A little more straightforward than yesterday for me (thanks to Pommers et al I can get to grips with Ray T). Again NE corner held me up but not for too long.
    Very enjoyable. LOI & my COTD was 10a.
    Thank you Mr T & Pommers for hints especially explaining 28a.
    A Ray T day with 2 lurkers – I what will Brian say? No prizes for correct answer!

      1. Thanks CS. It is the first time my tablet has not auto filled the boxes correctly – or I did something wrong (probably the latter).

    1. There were a few clues where I caught myself wondering, “Whatever will Brian say about this one?”

  10. I don’the know how I had my tail docked, a practice I thoroughly disapprove of – presume I did something wrong sorry.

  11. I agree with pommers – 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    I agree with Jane about the ‘crickety’ clue that wasn’t – thank goodness.
    10a caused trouble – I couldn’t, and still can’t, make ‘care’ = ‘trust’.
    Trying to sort out why 28a was what it had to be took more time than the whole of the rest of the crossword – I turned it upside down and inside out and never got it – dim!
    So many good clues that picking out any in particular is going to be tricky but here goes – 1 and 4a and 23d and the 29a/21d. My favourite was 2d.
    With thanks to Ray T and to pommers.

    1. I agree about 10a. In my Collins thesaurus care is listed as a synonym of trust under the overall meaning custody, ie in care = in trust. However, trust isn’t listed as a synonym of care. Told you there was a bit of stretching going on :grin:

      1. The same for care/trust in the listings in the Small Red Book. This is not unusual in my experience; so, ‘reverse’ look up is often required – check the listing of the ‘answer’ word rather than the ‘clue’ word.

        1. Care and trust have synonyms in common such as guardianship, protection and safekeeping but this approach of “if A=B and C=B then A must equal C” isn’t really on. I think BD refers to it as “Thesauritis” :lol:

          1. I agree, multi-step look up is not on, but I think that a simple(?) reverse look up, like today’s, is OK.

  12. Exactly what crypticsue said. LOI 10ac. A marvellous puzzle. I do so enjoy a RayT Thursday. Ta to Pommers for the Prince clip ( I will pass on the lambs. We have had an overdose of cuteness on the blog this week) Thanks to RayT.

    1. It’s ok, MP – the cats are taking a holiday. At least one of the Kitties may take a holiday too.

      1. I don’t mind the pictures at all Kitty. There are some hilarious ones under the right searches on Google Images

      2. Hope all going well for your half marathon on 12th and that you have lots of donations for such a worthy cause. Love OA

        1. Thank you OA! Thanks to some extremely generous donations I haven’t had to work up too much of a sweat collecting sponsorship (the part which I find far worse than the running!) and have hit my minimum target. Many thanks again to those who have contributed so far (and in advance to anyone else who wants to – it’s not too late!). :rose:

          I think I’m in worse shape than before I agreed to do it – but will wobble round regardless. :)

          1. Many thanks MP – that’s very generous of you.

            (I couldn’t reply earlier because I’ve been out and about and Cloudflare seldom lets me comment from my phone.)

  13. **/*** for me, not too demanding and very enjoyable.

    15a, albeit with different cluing, shows up for the second time this week.

    Favourite 8d – I liked the somewhat ‘out of the ordinary’ usage of the definition word.

    Thanks to Ray T and pommers.

  14. I thought it was just me being a bit slow today so glad to know that others struggled with some answers. I needed Pommers’ help for a few, especially 10a and 17d.
    Just one question, do Pommers’ know that it’s dangerous to show a “mature” lady like me a picture like the hint for 1a?! Palpitations!

    Thanks to setter and Pommers.

  15. I thought that was the toughest puzzle for a while and generally difficult to parse- eg 28a-thanks Pommers , I was thinking of P for pound notes ! .
    A ***/*** for me, last in 23D, a nicely misleading clue by the setter., liked the surface of 29a
    Lets see what Friday brings .

  16. As Pommers says, a proper Ray T, and one which didn’t beat me this time. Ta to all.

  17. The best RayT puzzle for quite some time. Loved it.

    Thanks to pommers for the blog … especially for explaining 28a.

  18. The trickiest back pager this week. The picture at 22a reminded me of our visit to the Tall Ships Regatta at Blyth last year. Thank you Pommers and Ray T.

  19. 3*/4* overall for this decidedly tricky Ray T puzzle. Several fine clues, with 2d just taking the top of the podium from 8 and 17d. The long anagrams were nicely put together, and I thought this was the most enjoyable Ray crossword for some time.

    So thanks Ray, and to pommers for an entertaining blog.

  20. Well, that was a reminder of how far I still have to go. I was defeated by this one and needed a good few lookups in the electronic BRB to get finished in a reasonable time. Still, the ones I did get were good fun. Thanks to RayT for the challenge and thanks to pommers for explaining 28a and for confirming that 1d is a bit unconventional.

  21. ****/****. Found this very difficult due to the NE corner for which I needed hints. So thanks to Pommers for explaining what I couldn’t fathom and Ray T for a great workout. My favourites were 27a&16d.

  22. Well, of all things, I actually finished, admittedly with help of gizmo. On RayT Thursdays, I find my gizmo first to make sure it’s handy.
    Like so many others, I needed the hints to get 28a, I had just bunged it in ‘cos it fit. Likewise the uncrickety 24a! Missed that lurker completely.
    Fave was 23d, loved the pic M’pops, even if you didn’t, runner up was 2d but I’m not allowed to say why.
    Thanks to RayT, and to pommers for the enlightenment of 24a and 28a.

    1. I didn’t say I didn’t like it Merusa but sometimes life is too short to watch lambs gambolling on YouTube when we see real lambs every year in the fields behind us. Shame the Prince clip isn’t Purple Rain.

  23. Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, as Pommers says a typical Ray T puzzle. Hadn’t noticed the 21/29 connection, very good. Was beaten by 10a, had the definition, but couldn’t get the word. 18a made me laugh, but my favourite was 23d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  24. I’m not in the “trickier than normal for a RayT” camp, I always feel that the answers need to be coaxed out slowly, and I’ve definitely encountered harder alternate Thursday challenges.

    All of the classical trademarks were in evidence, and it was great fun to solve. The only stretched synonym I couldn’t make a case for was “dispatch” equating to the definition in 24a, which was a pity as the surface was superb. I awarded four ticks to 4a, 15a, 2d and 16d.

    Many thanks to Mr. Terrell and to Pommers.

    1. I am in full agreement with the ‘teasing’ out bit but they don’t take as much teasing as they used to. This blog has certainly helped. The battles I used to have with RayT are mere kerfuffles now.

      1. Hi MP,

        The best way to get used to a setter’s individual style is to tackle more and more of his or her puzzles. No substitute for that I reckon.

  25. As usual on a Ray T day , I find myself on the wrong wavelength and really struggled to finish.
    Thank you pommers for coming to my rescue for 3d and 28a.

  26. Got there in the end 😏 ***/*** A proper Thursday puzzle 😳 Big thanks to Pommers and to Ray T. When it is over you think why did I find it so difficult but believe me I did 😏 Favourite either 22a or 23d

  27. Lovely stuff once again from RayT. Working out how 28a parsed was the last bit to sort out for me too. Of course I checked the clue word count as usual and can report that none exceeded his limit of eight words.
    Thanks RayT and pommers.

  28. Very entertaining, and nicely tricky. 10a was left at the end for the reason Pommers very nicely summed up in comment #11. (A=C?? – doesn’t quite work with synonyms in my view.) I like 23d even if it is a bit of a chestnut, but 8d gets my vote, nicely misleading.
    Many thanks to Mr T and to Pommers.

  29. That was a good workout for the little grey cells! I loved it; stretched synonyms and all.
    8d was my favourite and overall 2/4*.
    Thanks to Mr T, and to pommers for the review.

  30. Great puzzle from RayT as usual. Two nice long clues at 15 and 18 to get started and then loads of innuendo from the master. I think 1a and 2 were the best but also enjoyed 4 1d 14 18 19 23 24 and 29. Thanks RayT.

  31. Hurrah for me as I have completed this puzzle alone and unaided!
    I think this is only my 2nd completed RayT so I am consumed by smugness.

    Took me all day to do it with long breaks in between for stuff that had to be done, but who cares? Certainly not me.

    Would definitely never have got close to solving this without this marvellous site, so thanks again, Big Dave.

    Thanks to Ray T and to pommers.

  32. Evening all. Setter here, with thanks to pommers and to all who left a comment.


  33. Just as I’d begun to think that this was one of RayT’s more gentle offerings, I became totally stuck in the bottom lefthand corner. Once the animals in 23 down became clear, the remainder of the corner soon followed. My favourite has to be 23 down, very closely followed by 22 across and 16 down. Thanks to RayT for a really well clued puzzle and of course to Pommers.

  34. Always struggle with Ray T puzzles and today was no exception. Thanks to Pommers’ hints I was able finish. About half the clues fell in reasonably easily, and then it was hard work. But at least a work out for the old grey matter. But I am a big fan of setters who take the time to drop in and comment. Thanks!

  35. Good stuff, definitely on the tricky side – *** for difficulty, if not ****. I wonder if the crossing of 29ac and 21d wasn’t a complete coincidence. :-)

  36. A jolly 2*/3.5* puzzle. 17d was my favourite, but 23d made me laugh. Thanks to Mr T, and Pommers.

  37. It took us longer than usual but a magnificent and amusing puzzle…***/****
    Thanks to Ray T and Pommers.

  38. Found it on par with the toughie.
    SW was last to yield and 22a was my last one.
    Got it from the def but needed pommers for the explanations. Like the flag on the picture by the way. Looks familiar. Nice one.
    Was surprised that the two lurkers crossed as they were solved in that order.
    Thought 1d was a bit strange and was thinking of what SL was saying about all in one &lit cryptic clues. Wondered what category this falls into.
    Great anagrams in 15 and 18a.
    26a wins the race 🏁.
    Thanks to RayT and to pommers for the review.

    1. Indeed it is the Tricolor but the only time we flew one on Firenze was as a courtesy ensign when we went to Bretagne one summer. The boat in the photo must be French registered as the flag appears to be on the backstay.

  39. Sorry I’ve not been around this evening – been playing bridge and eating a rather nice dinner with a couple of friends.

    I see we’ve had the usual split in opinion on the difficulty rating of a RayT but at least there haven’t been any serious complaints. Must be a wavelength thing as he certainly requires a bit more of a stretch in the lateral thinking than most setters do. “Steep” and “fortified” indeed!

    I thought it was great and was close to giving it the fifth star for enjoyment.

    1. Hi Pommers,
      Glad you had a nice evening – my indulgence was lunch and afternoon ‘session’ with some old friends!
      Re: 13a – my Mum was often heard to say ‘I’ll just pop the fire on for a few minutes to warm the room up a bit’ so I had no issue with the clue as it stood.

      1. I don’t really have a problem with 13a but FIRE can have lots of other meanings than HEATER and there are lots of ways of heating that can’t reasonably be referred to as a fire so I reckon a ? is a reasonable request.

  40. Only disappointed in myself, not the puzzle. I usually manage to finish a RayT these days, but I had to look up 10a and 13a, as well as check a few others. 17a was my favourite. I like anything to do with music. Many thanks RayT and Pommers.

  41. Had a busy day but in fact completed this enjoyable work-out over a slightly extended breakfast. Liked 1d when the penny had dropped and bunged in 1a without parsing – d’oh! NE corner was last to go in. Thanks RayT and pommers. And so to bed. 😴

  42. I was chugging comfortably enough through this but hit the buffers in the SW corner and began to feel a bit like Brian. Got there in the end without resorting to hints but mis-parsed 28a, so thanks to Pommers for the explanation. Overall, though, not a great puzzle for me – but then they seldom are on a RayT Thursday. I know he delights others, so I’ll just have grumpily to agree to disagree. Did like 8d very much, however, but disliked 4,13 & 24a for reasons already given. 3*/2*

  43. Great puzzle, but much harder than usual for me, needed lots of help.
    Thanks Ray and Pommers

  44. Great puzzle. Very tricky. Took me until this morning and a night’s sleep to complete it. 10a last in, obvious when penny dropped. 23d was my favourite. 4*/4* Now for today’s.

  45. Brilliant crossword. It seems I am beginning to understand and enjoy some of Ray Ts offerings. Worrying!
    Thx to all.

  46. I did this one yesterday afternoon and thought it was excellent, a bit above average for a Ray T and well above average for a standard back-pager. Best of the week, by a fair margin, as usual. I had no problems at with the structure/content of any clue. 3.5*/4.5*.

  47. I always struggle with Ray T’s but managed all of this with the exception of 10a. 🙂

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