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DT 28394

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28394

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Morning all and welcome to another RayThursday.  Maybe it’s just me having an off day but I found this a bit trickier than recent RayT puzzles have been. Enjoyable all the same with all the usual hallmarks of a RayT offering. I’ll be interested to see what you guys think of 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           By chance, one new score’s interrupted by detectives (12)
ACCIDENTALLY:  Start with playing card number one followed by N(ew) and a word meaning to keep score and then insert (interrupted by) the usual three letter detectives.  I’ve said before that I like it when 1a goes straight in.  Unfortunately, this time it certainly didn’t! Tricky little rascal to start with.

9a           Marker is only beyond motorway, in case (9)
MILESTONE:  Take a word for only or single and put it after (beyond) the motorway which goes from London to Leeds and a rather old fashioned word for ‘just in case’ and you’ll get a marker, which you might find on said motorway.

10a         Worried in the past, for instance (5)
TENSE:  A word meaning worried is also something that past is an example of.  Future or present would work equally well.  A bit of a chestnut but I still like it.

11a         Judge concerned with jailbird pocketing grand (6)
RECKON:  Two letters for concerned with and the usual jailbird has a letter indicating a thousand (grand) inserted (pocketing).

12a         The woman’s wearing a hollow ‘supporter‘ (8)
ADHERENT:  The word indicating ‘the woman’ is inserted into (wearing) the A from the clue and a hollow or depression, in the wing of your car perhaps.

13a         Sins of large sections of Church (6)                                                                                                    
LAPSES:  L(arge) followed by some parts of a church

15a         Alien phoned back endlessly outside (8)
STRANGER:  Start with the usual word for phoned, not called but the other one, and round it (outside) put the back of a boat without its last letter (endlessly).

18a         Son runs into copper, facing minute analysis (8)
SCRUTINY:  S(on) followed by R(uns) inserted into the chemical symbol for copper and then a word meaning minute as in very small.

19a         Equilibrium unaltered on edges of seat (6)
STASIS:  ST (edges of SeaT) followed by a phrase (2,2) meaning or the same.

21a         Suggest right piece of work’s put inside pen (8)
PROPOUND: R(ight) and the usual two letter work put inside a word for a pen, where stray dogs are kept perhaps.  We had the pen working the other way round in the last puzzle I blogged – 28a in DT 28370.

23a         Comparatively dirty canine initially more ill-bred (6)
CRUDER:  C(Canine initially) followed by a word for more ill-bred or less polite.

26a         Old under orderly facing hospital (5)
NEATH:  An archaic word for under is a word for orderly or tidy and then H(ospital).

27a         Queen’s revolving set fitted upright (9)
REPUTABLE:  Reverse (revolving) the usual two letters for Her Majesty and follow with a word for to set or to place and finally a word for fitted or capable.

28a         Bent police tried changing end of confession (12)
PREDILECTION:  Anagram (changing) of POLICE TRIED followed by an N (end of confessioN).


1d           Top man, in the main (7)
ADMIRAL:  Cryptic definition of the boss (top man) at sea (in the main).

2d           Gripes about Opposition’s leader left in charge (5)
COLIC:  Gripes that babies get are a single letter for ‘about’ followed by O (Opposition’s leader), L(eft) and then the usual two letters for in charge.

3d           Bent detective was brilliant on street (9)
DISHONEST:  An abbreviation of a detective inspector is followed by a word for was brilliant, think light not cleverness, and the usual street.  Strange to have the same definition word in two different clues.

4d           After knockout about to rise in corner (4)
NOOK:  Start with the abbreviation for a knockout in boxing and then two letters for about and reverse the lot (to rise in a down clue).

5d           Roughly caned over extremities in true story (8)
ANECDOTE:  Anagram (roughly) of CANED followed by O(ver) and TE (extremities in TruE).

6d           Shed light on that man being flexible (5)
LITHE:  A word for shed light on (past tense) followed by a word for ‘that man’.

7d           With hour inside gives in, going off rails (8)
INVEIGHS:  Rail as in to make a verbal attack. It’s an anagram (going off) of GIVES IN with H(our) inserted (inside).

8d           Go off Church reading, perhaps upsetting minister (6)
RECTOR:  Take a word for go off or fester, the abbreviation of Church of England and what reading is an example of (along with writing and arithmetic) and reverse the lot (upsetting).

14d         Coppers on alert suppressing offensive (8)
PERSONAL:  A lurker. It’s lurking (suppressing) in coppers on alert.

16d         A northern course circling radius for polar region (9)
ANTARCTIC: A (from the clue), N(orthern) and a course of action are put around (circling) an R(adius).

17d         Caught in homicide, ran sneakily up (8)
ENSNARED:   Another lurker but this time it’s reversed (up in a down clue).

18d         Prostrate having done in backbone … (6)
SUPINE:  A single letter for done, as in the done thing, socially acceptable or proper, is inserted into your backbone.

20d         … rise being supported by doctor (7)
SURGEON:  A rise followed by  a word describing your position relative to something that’s supporting you. Nice to have this word clued without reference to a certain Scottish politician!

22d         More trouble going topless (5)
OTHER:  Some trouble without its first letter (going topless).

24d         Emirate is style capital (5)
DUBAI:  Style as in to name followed by two letters for capital as in very good.

25d         Stone‘s old before tour’s over (4)
OPAL:  O(ld) followed by a reversal (over) of a tour, of a race track perhaps.

There’s few good ones but my favourite was 28a, just for its surface reading. 

Quick crossword pun:       GEAR   +   TEEN   =   GUILLOTINE


76 comments on “DT 28394

  1. Definitely trickier than the usual Ray T backpager – I had to start with the downs. Almost Wrong Envelope Day – took longer than today’s ‘Toughie’ and a lot longer than the two ‘fluffies’ in the middle of the paper earlier this week.

    Thanks to Ray and Pommers too

  2. A considerable amount of head scratching, including to fully understand the parsing of several of the answers once they had been written in. For example, 14d – but offensive is in the Small Red Book listing for the answer so, hey-ho, it must be.

    24d totally mystified me as to how what I knew to be the correct answer equates to ‘style capital’ – so thanks to Pommers for explaining it.

    Nevertheless, a very enjoyable puzzle – 2.5*/3.5* for me.

    Favourite, from a list of several contenders, 8d.

    Thanks to the Ray T and Pommers.

  3. 4*/4*. A few clues particularly in the SW pushed this towards the tougher end of Ray T’s range for me, but there was still plenty of enjoyment to be had.

    With an alien and a surfeit of bad behaviour in evidence (including sins, a homicide, a jailbird on the loose, and people going off the rails), I was worried for Her Majesty’s safety but thankfully there were lots of police of different types around as well as having a doctor, a hospital orderly, and a judge on hand too.

    I couldn’t work out how “having done” led to the “u” in 18d (thanks for the explanation, pommers). I’m not totally convinced by 27a as the last four letters seem to be synonymous with “fit” rather than “fitted”.

    Very many clues came into contention as possible favourites but my winner is 7d closely followed by 10a & 28a.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to pommers.

  4. I found this tough to parse in places but managed to fill the grid in a comfortable 2* time although it did feel trickier than usual.

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

  5. I found this pretty difficult, and struggled like others to parse a few once I had successfully completed the puzzle. My favourite was the reverse lurker at 17d because it took me ages to get it. Overall 3.5*/4* for this enjoyable challenge.

    Thanks very much to Ray T for the tough workout and to pommers for a couple of explanations.

    1. 17d was my least favourite clue, as I can never accept that “up” can be a reverse indicator in something written horizontally.

        1. But you have to read it as normal (horizontally) and identify the need to read something backwards before you,pick it out and write it in the grid. The word “up” doesn’t give you that hint. (IMHO)

  6. Another very enjoyable puzzle from RayT. It was a bit short on the usual innuendo but very high on quality. As usual there were 2 hidden words by the King of lurkage but 17 took a lot of finding and I award that clue the rosette. There was a nice theme of bent coppers and i liked 3 10 11 12 14 19 26 and 28. Clue 7 was the last one in after quite a bit of deliberation. Thanks to RayT – keep up the good work.

  7. Surprisingly, I found this quite straightforward, I think getting 1a and 1d straight off gave me a great start and everything fell into place quite easily. The only one that gave me any problem was 7d, my Wordsearch program found it and then I saw the anagram – I had to look it up in my BRB to understand the meaning, definitely a new word to me.

    I usually struggle on a Thursday but now I’ve got time on my hands – I think I’ll go and attack the garden!

  8. I normally get through a puzzle from RayT without too muh difficulty, however I did struggle today.
    7d was my last in; a word that is now an addition to my vocabulary.

    Thanks to RayT, and to pommers for the review.

  9. I don’t belieeeeeve it….I actually managed to get this one done with just the minimum of electronic help. (Does using an anagram solver count?…suppose it does, but not as much as the wordfinder type gizmos)
    And you all seem to have found it tricky too….frabjous day.

    Sorry to go on but I have engaged smug mode as my hero, Arnold Rimmer, would say.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers for his invaluable parsings.

    1. One of the few times I completed a RayT puzzle, I went on and on and on … “Smug mode” aptly describes it!

  10. Very similar to yesterday for me. I did manage to finish without any help but needed the hints to understand some of the answers. 7 and 8 down were the last ones in. 3*/2* Many thanks to Ray T and to Pommers.

  11. I’m busy this morning so have only had time to do about half of this excellent crossword so far – I’ll finish later, at home. So, MP, I have “pre-solved” some of it for a specific purpose – to enable me to make a comment on here in “real time”, instead of the day after. There’s a bit of a legal theme in the clues today with 2 detective(s), 2 copper(s) and 1 each of judge, jailbird, police, homicide, confession and case. This is a cracker from Ray T with very good, challenging and enjoyable clues – except 1d, which is incongruously very basic/elementary (but I’ll let him off that one!). My favourite up to now is 7d, which has excellent word play for a pretty rare, but fair, word. So far, 4*/4.5*.

      1. In the context of my comment, the term pre-solved is correct. I usually solve crosswords at home in the afternoon. Therefore, if I solve some of the crossword earlier and in a different location, for a specific purpose, then the term “pre-solve” is germane – so I don’t have to explain the logistics in detail every time (I would have thought that was obvious even to a self-confessed poor, uneducated boy like yourself). Having said that, I’m sure when or where I solve crosswords is of little interest to anyone on here anyway… :-)

      2. Also, in reply to your prior accusation of “pre-solved” being a “tautology”, I’ll proffer an example of a true one: “I have pre-solved it earlier”.

  12. I initially thought that the difficulty I was having with todays puzzle was self inflictive due to a theatre visit last night to Manchester to see the Commitments followed by a Don Giovanni meal ! Both excellent.
    However it appears that Mr T had produced a tricky solve which eventually succumbed, can’t quibble with a ***/***.
    Thanks to Pommers for the parsing of 8d and the u in 18d- feeling better already.

  13. As always with Ray T needed help with 7 & 8 down and missed the lurker ***/*** Favourite was 3d Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers

  14. :phew: Ray T’s really off on one today – I found this tricky so 3*/4* for difficulty and 4*+ for enjoyment.
    I got 1a quite quickly and then got into a pickle trying to sort out why and the same goes for 9a.
    I hardly dare admit that my two last answers were the 14d lurker and the 17d reversed lurker. Oh dear.
    The ‘K’ meaning grand always gets me.
    Understanding 24d took ages.
    Lots of good clues to pick from – 12 and 28a and 24 and the linked 18/20d. My favourite was 3d.
    Thanks to Ray T and to pommers for untangling that lot.

  15. Great puzzle and a real workout today. Although I had
    a completed grid I needed help,sorting a couple of reasons why Tha ace in 1ac and the tactic at 16d for example. The well hidden lurkers were a joy. Pommers, sorry to be pedantic but you have only given the reasons for four of the five letters at 2d. The missing on is rather obvious though. Thanks to all as usual.

  16. This was hard work though I managed to complete. Bunged in 17d but having missed the lurker could make sense of it only thanks to Pommers.

  17. A very enjoyable and absorbing puzzle, spoiled a little in my view by 8 down. I spent almost as much time pondering over that one clue as I did for much of the remaining puzzle. I particularly liked 3 down, 9 across and 22 down. Thanks to RayT and to Pommers for hints, especially for leading me to the correct word of the three I had in mind for 8 down.

  18. Tricky one today. Managed to finish and even to parse all the answers after a while. Very enjoyable. 3*/4* for me. Like some others I didn’t spot the reverse lurker in 17d so it was my last one in and only one word seemed to fit so bunged it in and then gave it a good stare until the penny dropped. My wife has gone off to play tennis, so I shall sit in the garden with a glass of scotch and the Toughie. Happy days – and nice and warm too here in Maidstone.

  19. **** for both trickiness and enjoyment today. Got there in the end but it was a struggle. 28a was my favourite and, for some reason, I stared blankly at the lurker in 14d (last one in) for ages before the penny dropped.

  20. Lovely rascal of a crossword today, proving that variety is the spice of our crossword fascination.

    On Tuesday we had an”O level” delight, & today an “A level” examination.

    On completion, on Tuesday, face wreathed in smiles, today a slump back in the chair with a self satisfied “phew”.

    Thanks to Ray T , my net & trident are at the ready for our battle next week.

    Cheers to all at Big Dave’s blog, & to the contributors.

  21. An enjoyable tussle with Ray T today. I thought I’d won, but needed the hint for 7d, not a familiar word to me.

    ***/**** from me. Thanks to RT and to Pommers for my much needed hint for 7d.

    1. I agree – prone is the equivalent of prostrate not supine. Can this really be a Ray T mistake??

    2. Roget’s Thesaurus seems to think that “supine” and “prostrate” are synonyms.

      Maybe Roget is wrong?

      1. I agree that they are given as synonyms, but one is laying face up and the other face down, how on earth can they be synonyms?

        1. This needs to run and run – let’s have some fun. Is the BRB infallible?? Or is it me???

            1. Let’s hope he replies – but it’s not life threatening, just a subject for debate amongst pedants.

    3. I wasn’t going to get involved in this but I’ve just found that PROSTRATE is listed as an opposite of SUPINE in Collins. Hey ho, the clue was solvable so it must work and at least both words refer to a horizontal position.

    4. They both mean laying down, so in that sense they’re synonyms. Which direction is irrelevant, in my cryptic-crossword-clue view.
      Had he used the word ‘prone’, you’d have a case.

    5. Perhaps we should let the SOED have the last say on this. It states: SUPINE (adj) = lying face upwards or on the back; PROSTRATE (adj and n) = lying face downwards as a sign of submission or humility. So, accordingly, they are not synonymous.

  22. I’ve always meant to say “”I don’t know how the symbols next to our names are chosen, but I love mine” ! If only you knew ………..

  23. The NW corner was my sticking point today. I was thrown yet again by ‘the main’ in 1d. I thought I’d cracked that problem. Obviously not. I filled in ‘General’ for 1d which was very clever of the setter, and wonder if anyone else did the same. Thank you Pommers for the review and to RayT for fooling me. A couple of naughty copper clues today, so I’ll go for 3D as my favourite.

  24. Finished after two sessions but a number of clues needed the hints to explain i.e. 11a, 12a, 15a, 8d, 17d and 18d. At least with this one you could work out the answer without fully understanding the clue. For me ***/**. Too tricky to be particularly enjoyable.
    Thx to alll.

  25. What a difference a day makes. This was very tough today. I usually struggle with Ray T days, and lack of sleep last night didn’t help.

  26. Judging by some of the comments,I’m fairly pleased with myself today. I almost completed which is unusual for me with a RayT crossword. Enjoyed 23&26a.

  27. I was beaten by six clues, all in the SW corner. I found I was using the gizmo to solve too many clues, that starts to make it a slog, so I gave up. The top half and most of the right-hand side were very do-able and lots to like.
    My fave was 3d and there were others to like, 24d was good.
    Thanks to RayT, and to pommers for his unravelling some of them.

  28. I did wonder briefly whether Mr. T was going for an alternative definition of ‘main’ and wanting us to come up with ‘general’ but 1a eventually put a stop to that train of thought.
    Took quite a while to sort out 7d and 14d hid itself remarkably well – those two were my last ones to go in.

    I’ll go along with others and nominate 28a for special mention but 24d was well up there with it.

    Devotions to Mr.T and thanks to Pommers for doing the honours.

  29. Three quarters of the answers went in fairly easily, making me begin to wonder if Pommers had been reviewing the same puzzle (only joking!), but the SW quadrant was RayT at his most fiendish, so overall it was fairly tricky I’d say, but certainly not the most difficult alternate Thursday offering I’ve encountered.

    As RD astutely points out, many of the clues seemed to involve our Boys in Blue, with my favourite being 28a for its perfect surface, just edging out 3d and 24d.

    I make it just fifteen anagrams in the four weekday backpagers so far, could this be about to constitute some sort of record weekly low, I wonder? If only there was someone who relishes looking up such stats…

    Many thanks to Mr. Terrell and to Pommers.

  30. Found this pretty tough at about half way through; some of the definitions are fiendishly well hidden, and some of the parsing very elusive.
    There’s also a couple that are questionable which had me dictionary-thumbing for a while. For a back-pager – ****
    Many thanks to Mr T and to Pommers

  31. Finally I complete the crossword on the day. And when I make my comment I get ‘timed out’ D’oh!
    I love starting a crossword with the answer to 1a. So I bunged in ‘coincidental’ and followed it up with ‘captain’ for 1d. And there of course progress ground to a halt. After changing 1a to ‘incidentally’ things marginally improved but it was only the elevation of the captain’s rank that finally set me on my way. Because it gave me quite a run around I’ll nominate 1a as fave, and 3/4* overall.
    Thanks to RayT, and to Pommers for the review.

  32. This was hard! It took a good hour with a friend helping. We found ourselves getting quite a few answers by looking at the letters available already in the grid, then finding the synonym at one end of the clue, putting in the answer and then working out the rest of the clue. 1a was typical of this. Some of the synonyms were at the far end of the range of similar meaning: course and tactic? Hmm. And “U” for “done”? Just about. “Dub” for “style”: OK, but it effects a deep sigh. “AI” for “capital”? Tough. But we got there, and it’s satisfying to reach the top of a tougher hill, although a wonderful view afterwards would add to the satisfaction. I’m all for a theme, with related clues, but I’m not sure about repetition of words e.g. “bent”. ** enjoyment and **** difficulty in my opinion.

  33. Evening all. Thanks to pommers for the review and to all for your comments. I’m glad that most of you enjoyed it.


    1. Hi Mr. T – good to hear from you as usual. Any comment you would care to add to the thread that started at comment 24?

    2. I do appreciate that you pop in to take ownership! It makes it seem a little more 14d, though not the offensive meaning. Thanks.

  34. Seems the wrong crossword is being answered today 6April. Number today is 28394 not 27394!!

  35. We also find this one trickier than usual. “Beam with anagrams” was our comment at the time. The cross referencing of the two law enforcement officers who had gone off the rails rather appealed to us. Much appreciated and enjoyed. Clue word count spot on as ever.
    Thanks RayT and pommers.

  36. On the difficult side, *** sounds right, a thoroughly enjoyable challenge. Couldn’t spell 28ac, didn’t know 7d and didn’t believe it when the anagram fell into place. :-)

  37. Felt better when I read Comments and realised I was not the only one to have grappled somewhat with this challenging exercise which took a very long time and didn’t really entertain. I needed help from pommers in NE corner. Had to dig deep to recall 19a. Missed the reverse lurker in 17d but guessed right. Hope to have more fun tomorrow. Thank you RayT and pommers.

  38. Sorry to post so late, but we arrived at the Yosemite View Lodge here in California this afternoon. The eight hour time difference accounts for the rest.

    We started briskly – in went ‘CAPTAIN’ for 1d immediately followed by ‘COINCIDENCES’ for 1a then a period of puzzlement before we realised why we couldn’t get any more answers in the NW. Hell’s teeth! 4* for difficulty, but should have been 2.5*.

    We’re in the camp that believes supine and prostrate not to be synonyms, but we got the answer fairly easily, so we put this down to Ray T stretching definitions again.

    COTD we thought was 26a a nicely hidden definition.

    Thanks to Ray T and Pommers.

  39. I finished bar a couple of hints.
    I approached this like a quick crossword as the wordplay was pretty much unfathomable, I needed the hints to explain about 60% of the answers I should think.
    So beautifully crafted crossword, but for the above reasons a pretty turgid experience.
    Thanks Ray-T and Pommers

  40. Maybe it was just me having a bad day. Found this impossible. Having read the answers,still a few I don’t understand. Didn’t enjoy it at all

  41. I finished this last night and found the rest of it as excellent as the portion I solved earlier (or pre-solved) yesterday morning. My favourite is still 7d and overall I’ll rate it 4*/4.5*.

  42. 8d was the final one which got me puzzling all evening, but generally after a slow start I found this one really enjoyable. I am quite new to crosswords; only started doing them towards the end of last year so still have quite a lot to learn.

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