DT 28423 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28423

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28423

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****


Kia ora from Aotearoa.
        Last weekend was the start of the duck shooting season here so the estuary and bird sanctuary near us is more crowded than it is for the rest of the year. Lots of ducks of course, but the most prominent birds, and certainly the noisiest, are the Canada Geese. We are right into cooler autumn weather now so appreciate having a wood fire most evenings.

Another enjoyable puzzle from Jay this week and a Quickie pun that relented more quickly than last week’s. 

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Labour-shunning folk carrying Independent — they’re seeking depth, not afraid to be wet? (4-6)
SKIN-DIVERS : A three letter abbreviation for Independent is inside people who evade work.

6a     Very dry, yet welcoming the end of winter (4)
BRUT : A synonym for yet includes the last letter of winter.

9a     Loud American taken in by genuine rejection (7)
REFUSAL : The musical notation for loud, and the two letters for United States are inside a word meaning genuine or true.

10a     Capital and income principally invested in new casino (7)
NICOSIA : The first letter of income is included in an anagram (new) of CASINO.

12a     Doggedness seen in argument with superior in error (5,5,3)
STIFF UPPER LIP : A word for an argument or minor altercation and a word for superior or above are inside an error or indiscretion.

14a      Pair oddly going with villains to get canoes (8)
PIROGUES : The first and third letters of pair (oddly) precede a word for villains.

15a     Soldiers hand out painful experience (6)
ORDEAL : Lowest ranked soldiers and ‘hand out’ as one does with a pack of cards.

17a     Popular commercial vehicle carries one to no avail (2,4)
IN VAIN : The two letter word for popular and a type of vehicle includes the Roman numeral one.

19a     Track information on love and cause of disease (8)
PATHOGEN : A track or walkway is followed by the letter for love as a tennis score and then a word for information.

21a     Area of growth that’s a redneck thing, possibly (7,6)
KITCHEN GARDEN : An anagram (possibly) of A RED NECK THING.

24a     Home team resistance shows the person with the lowdown (7)
INSIDER : The two letter word for at home, then another word for a team and the letter denoting electrical resistance.

25a     Incorporated approach for bank (7)
INCLINE : The three letter abbreviation for incorporated and word for approach, often used in relation to courting.

26a     Horse backed in front of good crowd (4)
GANG : Reverse an informal word for a horse and then the abbreviation for good.

27a     Looking back with honour to accept the origins of this royal office (10)
RETROSPECT : The first letters of ‘this royal office’ are inside a word meaning to honour or hold in high regard.


1d     Type looked for on the radio (4)
SORT : A homophone (on the radio) of a word meaning looked for.

2d     A preparer of tea endlessly refusing to work (7)
INFUSER : Remove the last letter of ‘refusing’ and make an anagram (to work) of the remaining letters.

3d     Thin disguise failed and Democrat saw the difference (13)
DISTINGUISHED : An anagram (failed) of THIN DISGUISE and then the first letter of Democrat.

4d     Slandered if I must be taken in by poor devil (8)
VILIFIED : If  and I taken directly from the clue are inside an anagram (poor) of DEVIL.

5d     Accumulated some homespun articles on the way back (3,2)
RAN UP : A reversed lurker taken from the fourth and third words of the clue.

7d     12 about to work out (7)
RESOLVE : The answer to 12a is the definition. The two letters representing about and then a word meaning to work out as one does with  a crossword.

8d     Vagrant with old profession as a bouncer (10)
TRAMPOLINE : A vagrant or itinerant, then the abbreviation for old and a profession or occupation.

11d     Gain on the cards and get ready for action (5,3,5)
CLEAR THE DECKS : Gain or net profit, ‘the’ from the clue and then a word for full sets of cards.

13d     Few getting hint after super drops regulars (10)
SPRINKLING : Start with the first, third and fifth letter of ‘super’ and then a hint or suggestion of an idea.

16d     Casual supporter of the monarchy (8)
CAVALIER : Double definition. The monarch originally being supported was King Charles.

18d     Elects to offend after challenging veto (5,2)
VOTES IN : An anagram (challenging) of VETO and a word meaning offend or commit a wrong.

20d     Reports figure moving around bottom of garden (7)
GUNFIRE : An anagram (moving around) of FIGURE contains the last letter of garden.

22d     Bottle opener vet stocks (5)
NERVE : A lurker hiding in the second and third words of the clue.

23d     Exploit energy in adipose tissue (4)
FEAT : The abbreviation for energy is inside adipose tissue.

We put ticks beside 1a, 19a, and 27a. 

Quickie pun    place    +    surround    =    plays around

72 comments on “DT 28423

  1. About the same level as yesterday for me, perhaps slightly more enjoyable. The canoes were new to me as far as I remember. Liked 20d. Thanks to all.

  2. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. An enjoyable puzzle, with Jay in a gentle mode. The only problem I had was that I first put in “royalist” for 16d. The correct answer was my last in. My favourite was 14a. Was 2*/3* for me. The sun is out at last in central London.

    1. I thought there would be a few plumpers for ‘royalist’ – I thought about it but held off filling it in for a while.

      1. Oh – it didn’t even occur to me mainly because it was my last answer – i’m really dim today. :sad:

  3. It took me awhile to get into this one, but was well worth the effort. I really enjoyed it. Favourite has to be 1a. 2.5*/3.5* Many thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis.

  4. What an enjoyable puzzle. Thoroughly enjoyed it both for challenge but solvable clues. Many thanks to 2Kiwis for the hints and to BD for an enjoyable blog

  5. 2*/4*. Another fine Wednesday puzzle at the easier end of Jay’s spectrum.

    I don’t think that 4d is a synonym of slandered. Slander involves a falsehood which is not a necessity for the answer. That apart there were many contenders for favourite with 27a & 20d fighting it out for first place.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. For 4d, Jay must have a copy of the Small Red Book because Chambers lists them in each other’s entries (dear Lord, I hope I put the apostrophe in the correct position).

        1. I think it’s a case of “Thesauritis”. The BRB definitions of the two words confirm they are not equivalent.

          1. RD. The two words are listed as synonyms of each other in the SRB, and I would have thought that was good enough to validate them for use in a cryptic clue. However, I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet (similar to some of yours) about the word “synonym”. Its (correctly, without an apostrophe) definition is: a word that means the same, or nearly the same, as another word. If the same, it’s a category 1 synonym (or a precise definition). If only nearly the same, it’s a category 2 synonym (or an imprecise definition). In these puzzles, category 2 synonyms are quite often used as clue definitions and the setters, editors (and me) seem to be happy with them. As I’ve said before, these are word puzzles and don’t need to be 100% objective/definitive all of the time. But I’m not saying you are wrong – but maybe just a little over-scrupulous :-)

            1. And checking at home, my BRB gives the following definitions: Slandered = defamed, whether in writing or spoken; the answer = defamed, so the clue is perfectly OK anyway.

  6. Pretty straightforward, but I did get delayed in the SE corner for a while. 2*/3*. I liked 16d and 20d with 27a being by favourite. Didn’t know the canoe, but was easily derived.

  7. A little bit of head scratching today, resulting in completion at a canter – **/*** for me.

    I thought that 1a was untypically wordy for Jay, can’t help wondering if there was some editorial participation.

    Favourite 12a, a well constructed charade.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  8. A slightly easier solve than some Jay offerings , but thoroughly enjoyable 1a, 12a and 11d were my favourites but plenty of joy in some of the others **/**** Thanks to the 2Ks and the setter .

  9. A lovely puzzle for a bright, sunny morning. Lots to enjoy, and beautifully clued as always by Jay. 27a my favourite of many fine clues, and 2*/4* overall.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  10. Could not get anywhere at breakfast but coffee time made an amazing difference. Surprisingly the only one I needed the reasoning behind it was 1 down. How dim was I! Thank you to the 2 is it is good to think that at last w may be slightly warmer than down under. Thank you Jay, testing fun.

  11. Had to leave the puzzle for a while when I had to go looking for missing sheepdog. His name is Jay! Back home now. Anyway, good fun today, 12a favourite, 14a messed me up. PIRAGUAS are canoes as well, couldn’t work out what GUAS were! D’OH!

    1. Oh – I’m so glad your missing Jay is home – I can’t bear missing dogs. :sad:

  12. Not my favourite, too many wordy clumsy clues for my taste. Last in was 1a, obvious answer but just could not work out the wordplay until the hint. Never heard of the canoes before but the wordplay was obvious and then it was down to Google.
    Probably just me but I thought the style a bit odd and unusual.
    I quite liked 19a. For me **/**
    Off to the play golf in Mexico tomorrow so will be MIA for a while (I can hear the sighs of relief from here!).
    Thx to all

  13. I thought this was trickier than usual but I actually finished it quicker than normal! Thanks Jay for another excellent puzzle and 2ks for the blog.

  14. Can’t quibble with the 2K’s **/**** today, 27a also gets my vote as favourite closely followed by 12a.
    Low degree of difficulty so far this week, could it be retribution Thursday looming?
    Thanks to the 2K’s for the pics, remember seeing Mr Hals painting many years ago in the National.

  15. Only half the train journey time today, had to lower myself to doing the Metro.

  16. Easy solve but delayed a bit by 20d. Will get my comeuppance sooner than later I am sure. The cruciverse never lets hubris go unpunished.

  17. A nice relaxed solve as usual on a Wednesday **/*** Favourites 11 & 18d 🤗 Thanks to the 2xKs and to Jay 😜 I cannot believe that I spent so long trying to get a Royal Office to fit 27a 🙁

  18. It took a little break to allow the correct synonym for “royalist” to surface , but otherwise a R+W .
    Fun while it lasted.
    And nice to have our weekly update on nature etc from the other side of the world.

  19. I normally love the smooth surfaces in the crosswords from Jay.

    But what the hell is1a all about? I blame the crossword editor.

    1. 8a “to excite” and a u with an extra s inserted.
      Another publication has the following clue today ” Squeeze money out of some miserable editor.” I thought it was quite funny.

      1. Thanks, Una!

        But, your 8a is in today’s Toughie not in the cryptic, I think … therefore I am …. probably wrong.

        But I still don’t believe that Jay would ever submit such a clunky clue as 1a..

          1. Skivers carrying “ind ” ? and you’re about the toughie clue. I’m a complete clot.

  20. All over a bit too quickly today but very enjoyable.

    I think the canoes in 14a get a mention in the song Jambalaya.
    Thanks to the 2Ks

  21. Enjoyable solve today. The canoes were well clued, just a check with Google confirmed it. I thought they were Polish potato dumplings, or so.
    Fave was 12a, but I also rather liked 21a and 13d.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis. Shooting? In a bird sanctuary? Did I read that correctly?

    1. I gather it’s near the bird sanctuary so the birds appear to know where to go.
      And I think a word like or even the same as the canoe is used for Polish potato dumplings.

      1. You’ve got it right Una. The birds all come to our estuary to avoid being shot at. They seem to learn very quickly.

          1. Una, I read your comment out of context. I couldn’t for the life of me work out what on earth the intelligent creatures had to do with pirogen!

        1. Thanks for the clarification! I just thought that it was bird season and anyone could pot shot at them anywhere. I don’t like bird shooting, it’s the start of the “season” in Jamaica on August 12th and I hate it.

          1. I have the worlds most inaccurate air rifle. I can shoot at anything and and miss every time.

            1. I have no idea whether or not I can shoot straight , but I’d be sorely temped to take out a few Magpies , especially as I had the pleasure of seeing a Bullfinch in the garden today.

  22. Very enjoyable today.
    Last in was the royalist, obvious when the penny finally dropped.
    At last it looks as though we are due some decent rain in the SE tomorrow and the day after, the garden is really suffering.
    Thanks to Jay and 2xK’s

  23. Late on parade today although the crossword was completed over breakfast. Nothing to unduly hold me up and I rather liked 1a despite the wordy clue. Others that earned ticks were 19a plus 16&20d.

    Thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks – hope plenty of those birds are sensible enough to stay on the Reserve!

  24. A rather ‘fluffy’ puzzle from Jay today that didn’t take me long to solve, but enjoyable as ever from this setter.

    Thanks to the 2Kiwis and Jay */****

  25. This was a real pleasure after yesterday’s stinker, which I did complete – eventually. No real hold ups today, with favourites that include1a, 12a, 27a, 11 & 20d. Good fun. Thanks to Jay & 2Ks.

  26. Reasonably challenging and entertaining but not much to raise a laugh. No Fav. Here’s to more fun for rest of week. Tried to come up with a chucker-out for 8d! Thank you Jay and 2-Kiwis.

  27. Morning all. A rainy morning here and the forecast is for more to come. Looks like we will have to modify our planned outdoor activities.
    We wonder how many other people spent time trying to justify ARID for 6a until 8d helped sort it out.
    Enjoy your evening.

    1. Me too with 6a – now I’ll start banging on about the drought again except it’s nothing to do with the answer – just the way the clue reads.

  28. Just about ** for difficulty, with a bit of a hold-up in the SE corner on 16d and 25ac – the latter I didn’t understand until I looked at the hints above, though the answer couldn’t be anything else. Some nice, generous longer clues helped to open up the grid. 14ac was new to me and I guess lots of other solvers too.

  29. Enjoyed this one, with just a handful of stragglers refusing to go in over breakfast. One was the canoes which I have never heard of, although I have heard of the Polish dumplings. I was in the royalist camp too, and also pondered too long on a royal office. Thanks to the 2Kiwis for the hints.

  30. :yawn: It’s been a long and very busy day and tomorrow looks like more of the same so :yawn: again.
    I sneaked a gap in the middle of the day to do the crossword – a day without a crossword is a disaster.
    It might just be me because I have too much to do at the moment but I’m not sure I enjoyed this one quite as much as I usually do on a Jay day.
    This is going to sound like nit picking so I suppose it is but I did think that 1a was a very long-winded clue.
    Not many anagrams which are always the ones that I rely on to get started.
    I liked 6 and 19a and 11d. My favourite was 8d.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s.
    Back on Friday – tomorrow’s not looking too good from the point of view of having time for a crossword.

  31. Down here the birdy community was quite thrilled to see some hairy crabeaters ( crabier chevelu) going or coming from Africa.
    No real hold ups in this crossword.
    Nice picture for 21a. To people like me it’s a couple of pots on the window ledge.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

    1. I have to be contented with tending other peoples gardens, but it’s better than nothing… how’s the potted convolvulus this year?

      1. A bit like Audrey in The Little Shop OF Horrors.
        Been cutting away but there’s always a strand ending up miles from where you would except.

    2. If there are any lurkers wanting to post but unsure of a suitable blog name, may I suggest Hairy Crabeater?

    3. Hi JL,
      We know it as a Squacco Heron over here. I’ve never been lucky enough to see one.

  32. An enjoyable and easy to digest accompaniment to breakfast (I might clarify that I did the crossword some time ago, rather than having just had breakfast. I’m a night owl but not quiiite that bad!). I did have to wait for checkers for 6a having failed to see any way sere or arid would work.

    I think the length of 1a can be defended because it paints such a nice picture, as well as the definition part being fun too. Too many good bits to play at picking favourites.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  33. I find crosswords from Jay on a Wednesday to be eminently satisfying to do. This was no exception. Looking back 27a was my favourite…. 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to Jay, and to the 2K’s for their review and comments on the wildlife down there.
    Ps. Have muchos fun over there Brian.

  34. Towards the upper end of 1*, mainly because of the SE corner. My last in was 27a, which was my favourite clue. Thanks to Jay, and to the 2 Kiwis.

  35. We were absolutely in tune with Jay here, a real R&W which makes a pleasant change. 1*/3.5*, favourites were 13d and 27a – both stonkingly good (as favourites should be).

    Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay.

  36. Jay in benevolent mood and finished in one pass, starting with the down clues, obviously. 8 & 13d breast the tape together in the favourite stakes. Thanks to J & the Ks. 1*/3*

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