DT 28405 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28405

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28405

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****


Kia ora from Aotearoa.
     The 2K household is a very busy place at present so this blog was put together in bits and pieces interspersed with other activities. It is school holiday time here. Sam 8, one of our grandkids has been staying with us for a few days and today was joined by two of his cousins, Alice 13 and Ollie 15 who will also be with us until the weekend. It is a real pleasure to have them. The weather has improved considerably since we last reported so outdoor activities can be part of the programme.

The ‘right stuff’ once again from Jay.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Shortages damage large towns (10)
SCARCITIES: A word for damage or a mark left after an injury, then large towns or municipalities.

6a     Stone circle parking area east of Argyll (4)
OPAL: The letter shaped like a circle, the abbreviations for parking and area and the last letter (east) of Argyll.

10a     Flower girl finally out of bed and home (5)
LUPIN: The last letter of girl, a short word meaning out of bed and the usual ‘at home’ word.

11a     Is Columbus in a state with no black R&B? (4,5)
SOUL MUSIC: An anagram (in a state) of IS COLUM(b)US after the abbreviation for black has been removed.

12a     Lead actor set to return for new business venture (5-2)
START-UP: A principal performer and the reversal of a word meaning set or place.

13a     Left to cover start of cricket, energised (7)
EXCITED: Left or went out the door contains the first letter of cricket.

14a     Physical outcome for which runners perhaps pay? (8,4)
ATHLETES FOOT: This physical outcome is a medical condition. People of whom runners are one example and then a word meaning to be responsible for settling a bill. We decided not to use a pic for this one.

18a     The tar developed during cooking is overwhelming (12)
BREATHTAKING: The type of cooking we associate with Mary Berry surrounds an anagram (developed) of THE TAR.

21a     Almost suggest poem and go off (7)
IMPLODE: A word meaning suggest or insinuate loses its last letter and then a three letter type of poem.

23a     Tangoes wildly in front of the audience (2-5)
ON-STAGE: An anagram (wildly) of TANGOES.

24a     Protector ultimately failing a new supporter’s pledge (9)
GUARANTEE: Remove the last letter (ultimately failing) of a protector or warden, then A from the clue, the abbreviation for new and a supporter used for a golf ball.

25a     Bury‘s at home — they’re missing regulars (5)
INTER: The short word for at home and the first, third and fifth letters of they’re.

26a     Discard from East, covered by spades, hearts and diamonds (4)
SHED: Four abbreviations are in play here. The three card suits, in order, enclose the direction.

27a     Shuts short road after hospital’s lucky escape (5,5)
CLOSE SHAVE: A word meaning shuts and then the shortened form of a word for a tree-lined road follows the abbreviation for hospital.


1d     Hack crossing Portugal gets place on front page? (6)
SPLASH: A word for hack or cut carelessly contains the IVR code for Portugal.

2d     Come onto the scene in a contemporary broadcast (6)
APPEAR: A homophone (broadcast) that sounds like a member of the same age group.

3d     Walk through the law (14)
CONSTITUTIONAL: A double definition. The walk is a description we often use to describe our regular beach and estuary walk.

4d     Sanctimonious bunch suppressed by international high-flier (4,5)
TEST PILOT: Start with the international which is a sporting fixture between nations, then a two letter word meaning sanctimonious and a bunch or many.

5d     Leak from former lover you heard? Desperate, showing no heart (5)
EXUDE: The two letter former lover, the single letter that sounds like you (you heard), and the first and last letters (showing no heart) of desperate.

7d     Varied options must include one job (8)
POSITION: An anagram (varied) of OPTIONS contains the Roman numeral one.

8d     Transparency of woman hugging loveless idiot (8)
LUCIDITY : The woman the Beatles described as being in the sky with diamonds contains the word idiot with the ‘o’ removed.

9d     Fishing-boat’s single mistake, foregoing Southern relish (6,4,4)
SMACKS ONES LIPS : A type of fishing boat with the ‘s; a word for a single unit; next, a mistake or error. All of this preceding (foregoing) the abbreviation for southern. [ It seems to us that the  wordplay leads to ‘relishes’ rather than ‘relish’. Any thoughts on this?]

15d     Accept fans going topless for such commercial putsches (9)
TAKEOVERS : Accept or grasp and then a word for ardent fans loses its first letter.

16d     A card game needing small contracts (8)
ABRIDGES : ‘A’ from the clue, then a common card game and the abbreviation for small.

17d     Look up drink in Japan as memento (8)
KEEPSAKE : The reversal of a word for a sneaky look and then a Japanese alcoholic drink.

19d     Refrain from mounting pictures in support of staff (6)
MANTRA : The reversal (mounting) of a word for pictures collectively is placed below (in support of) staff or to supply workers.

20d     Reduce without a second order (6)
DECREE : Find a word meaning to reduce or make less and remove from inside it ‘A’ from the clue and the abbreviation for second.

22d     Old crowd rises to offer praise (5)
EXTOL : Old or former and then the reversal of a word for a crowd or many.

Quickie pun    ore    +    sunk    +    hart    =    horse and cart

56 comments on “DT 28405

  1. 2*/4*. A lovely puzzle to start the day. I particularly liked 3d but 14a was my last one in and favourite.

    I’m not convinced that the definition “go off” for 21a is correct even at a stretch.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    P.S. And now to tackle the Toughie. What a thrill when yet another Petitjean puzzle appears!

    1. RD – ‘go off’ in 21a sort of works if the answer is considered as an ‘inward explosion.’

        1. Maybe, however, I could start off a scientific discussion but I do not consider that to be appropriate for this forum. So, I will just suggest that it is setter’s licence.

        2. 21a: With this, I think everyone is obsessed with “go off” being the ignition of an explosion. Here, I reckon that “go off” means generally to start/initiate in a sudden, noisy, alarming and dramatic way – and an implosion certainly begins that way. After all, a car alarm “goes off”, but it’s nothing to do with an explosion.

  2. 2ks, 9d: I reckon that the clue should read fishing boats’ (not boat’s) to indicate the plural possession, giving smacks instead of smack. Apart from that, I can’t decide about your question. Over to you, Gazza…

  3. Some really lovely clues which were not immediately obvious such as 1a and 8d.
    I’m glad the weather is improving in the southern hemisphere ; here , it can’t make up it’s mind just how wintry it should be , in mid April.
    With thanks to the two K’s and Jay.

  4. All good stuff from Jay starting with a grin at 1a and lasting right the way through to the Quickie pun.
    14a is a definite favourite.

    I would agree with 2Ks over 9d and likewise with RD over 21a but neither held up the solving process.

    Thanks to Jay for a good start to Wednesday and to 2Ks for fitting in the review around entertaining the grandchildren. Haven’t seen 10a’s in a natural setting previously – they looked quite stunning.

    1. I agree on 9d. When it (almost) ‘appeared’ last Wednesday (DT 28399 – 18a), Jay’s clue used mild punishment for the first word and there was no ‘S’ on the end of it in the answer, and the use of relish in the clue worked.

  5. Another straightforward solve, completed at a gallop, with a sprinkling of oldies but goodies, and 9d making a second appearance in short order – */*** for me.

    Several contenders for favourite – 1a, 14a, 27a, 3d, and 8d, and the winner is 14a.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  6. A very enjoyable puzzle from Jay. Thanks to the Two Ks for the hints which must have been quite a burden with all the family activities. However, in 24a I suggest that “pledge” should have been underlined rather than “protector”.

    1. Thanks – Since the 2Ks are probably asleep at the moment I’ve made the alteration for them.

  7. Pretty much a R&W today but very enjoyable for all that.
    Only slight doubt for me is 15d, I assume the fans must be lovers, not quite sure this works but I can see the connection.
    My fav was def 14a, made me smile even though I can testify that it is nothing to laugh about, damned uncomfortable!
    Thx to all.

  8. A solid 2*/4* for this excellent Jay puzzle. I had three clues vying for top spot: 11, 14 and 18a, with 11a just taking the gold medal.

    Thanks to Jay for a fun crossword and to the 2Ks for their review.

  9. A pleasant saunter through today’s offering whilst waiting for car MOT. Thank you Jay and also to the 2Ks for parsing 2d and 4d for me. I too hae ma doots about 21a which surely means to crash inwards as opposed to going off outwards were the first two letters “ex”. No real Fav to propose today.

  10. Again lovely day, and another pleasurable solve, this time from Jay. April has been a good month for both.
    Like others 14a COTD, with 11a close as I thought the anagram quite well hidden.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks. Back to the garden. Any ideas on getting rid of wild garlic in a heavy clay soil? If only anything else would propagate as well.

    1. Lovely day, lovely crossword and lovely picture of blue flowers. What more could you ask for. Thankyou to setter and 2 busy childminders.

  11. */*** for me – generally good, I also liked 14a but thought that 9d was mis-clued ie should surely have been boats’…..a typo, perhaps

    1. The fishing boat and the S are individual elements of the wordplay separated by the ‘ so it works for me.

    2. That’s the point I was making in comment 3, above. In the clue: boat’s (singular possessor) = Smack + the apostrophe S from the clue = SMACK(S) and that is slightly more arcane, suiting a Toughie crossword better. I thought the elementary/basic: boats’ (plural possessor) = (directly) SMACKS would be more germane for a generally easy back-pager.

  12. Another enjoyable Weds crossword. Completed all too quickly but fun along the way. */**** 11a was my fave.

  13. A good challenge today and very enjoyable. I have to agree about 9d, should be relishes. 3d and 19a were my favourites. Many thanks to Jay and the 2kiwis.

  14. Another superb puzzle from Jay in the main, although I did have a couple of caveats. I agree entirely with the 2Ks that for 9d, the wordplay in the clue should be “relishes” rather than “relish”, to maintain the same part of speech as in the answer, and for the same clue I did wonder about “foregoing” which is fine in the cryptic grammar but seemed odd for the surface. I was also a little disappointed to see “in” clued twice as “home”/”at home”.

    My three ticked clues were 11a (brilliant), 14a and 3d.

    Many thanks to Mr. Mutch and to Colin and Carol.

    1. It’s Silvanus, he’ll analyse clues
      There’s some he just doesn’t approve
      And when they appear
      He’ll mention on here
      Too clunky and not very smooth


  15. Thanks to Jay for another fun puzzle, in a very benign mood today.
    I loved the pic of the lupins, so pretty. My fave was 1a, followed by 8d.
    Thanks also to 2Kiwis for the hints, glad your hurricane weather has abated. In the northern hemisphere we’ve had our first one, in the mid-Atlantic, whoever heard of that in April? I hope that’s not a foretelling of things to come.

  16. Good stuff from Jay as usual, very enjoyable if not very taxing. Slight stutter at 21a thinking ‘go off’ might be ‘rove’.
    Hard to choose a favourite – I like them all! Many thanks to Jay and to the busy busy busy Kiwis.

  17. A fun solve. Perhaps a few more old friends and recent acquaintances among today’s answers than usual. Feeling a bit embarrassed by how long it took to get 1a given its near relative’s appearance in 4d yesterday. No standout favourite, just a steady stream of smiles. Thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks.

  18. This was virtually a R&W; enjoyable enough but over far too soon. 9d was good but the ‘relish/relishes’ spoiled it a bit , so I’ll go with 11a as fave.
    1.5/3* overall.
    Thanks to Jay, and the childminders for finding time!

  19. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A fantastic puzzle as usual from Jay. Was beaten by 20d, couldn’t find the definition, so impossible to unravel. Favourite was 10a. Was 3*/4* for me.

  20. I did not find this as easy as most 😳 ***/*** but very enjoyable, eventually managed to solve it on my own! 😃 Favourite was a tie between 1a and 18a come on Ray T I’m ready. 😬 Big thanks to the 2 x Ks and to Jay 😉

  21. Only just found this site – I have sometimes (often) been stumped as to how the answers fit the clues – this helps me enormously when all else fails!

    1. Welcome from us too PammieG.
      Now that you have found us we look forward to getting more comments from you.

    2. Hi PammieG. Welcome to the world of Big D. If you keep looking you may find your solving ability gets better. If there is anything you don’t understand just ask. You will get an answer quite quickly

  22. An enjoyable puzzle, with only 20d at the end really slowing me down. ** for difficulty sounds right.

  23. Morning all.
    Yesterday just got busier and busier for us. When we were half-way through writing the hints a van arrived bringing our new oven and the man to install it, so that was going on in the background too. All in all we think we were lucky to get away with just a mis-placed underlining from the rather challenging circumstances. Hoping for a more orderly day today but that can’t be guaranteed with three extras around. At least the weather looks like it is going to behave itself.

  24. Great crossword as usual from Jay. After yesterday’s poor effort, I was gratified to slip onto Jay’s wavelength straight away.
    Thanks to 2xK’s and Jay.

  25. Thank you Jay, really enjoyed this one, despite making a couple of silly mistakes. Tried to make an anagram out of large towns in 1a before the penny dropped. And was convinced the last word in 14a was cost, but finally figured out the first part. Too many clever clues to pick a favourite. Thanks to 2Kiwis for hints for verification.

  26. I have nothing to add so will simply mew my agreement with the majority that (notwithstanding the 9d slip) this was top quality stuff at the gentle end of the spectrum and add my thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  27. Enjoyed this one very much….though did not find it as straightforward as most people here seem to have.
    Needed help with a lot of the parsings.

    Thanks to the 2Kiwis and to Jay.

  28. Mrs BJS is out on the razzle tonight so I had a rare, uninterrupted run at today’s puzzle. A very rare “one-visit” finish for me – I’m new to this game but have found the Wednesday crossword consistently the most approachable and enjoyable. So many thanks to Jay… and to the 2Kiwis (who I suspect are not exactly quaking in their rugby boots after today’s Lions squad announcement…).

    Favourite clues: 3d and 26a.


  29. I’ve been off all day being a proper helpful Mummy so have yet to look at today’s back page Jay, let alone the PJ Toughie.
    I’m suffering severe withdrawal symptoms and feel as if I’ve missed out on two really good crosswords.
    I have a car full of stuff to deal with – trips to the tip, the charity shops etc etc before I can even see the bottom of my car again – oh dear!
    When I’ve dealt with all of that and cut the grass tomorrow I’m awarding myself a day off so have both of today’s crosswords and tomorrow’s Ray T to look forward to. :phew:

    1. I’m going to find myself offline again next weekend in London of all places.Etiquette requires me to attend all sorts of events at which doing a crossword would be really infra-dig.

      1. And in the mean time , I have to clean /tidy the house so that my daughter can bear to doggy sit.

  30. Late start after a long and testing day: hospital, work, training new recruits, more work, you know the sort of thing. However I liked this offering from my favourite setter as pre-bed relaxation therapy. My only hold-up was going for EXPLODE, following the going-off logic, which made 16d impossible. Once I realised what 16d had to be I was able to correct my error and raced to the end. Breasting tape first has to be 14a, although I also enjoyed 3d and many others. Ta to the Ks – I know how you feel – and J.2*/4*

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