DT 28490 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28490

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28490

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty **/***Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone. This is a Ray T production. I thought it was at the gentler end of his range of difficulty but I’ve given it an extra bit of a star for those of you who have trouble with his crosswords.

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under the things that say ANSWER so only do that if you need to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.


1a            Most evil since being boxed by finest (6)
BASEST — Finest or outstanding goes around a little word that means since or because.

4a            Small guitar strummer without large range (8)
SPECTRUM — The one letter abbreviation for S(mall) is followed by the little thingy that guitarists hold to play the strings without its second letter which is an ‘L’ (without large).

9a            Some singers are poetic backing musical works (6)
OPERAS — Our first lurker, or hidden answer (some) – it’s hidden and reversed (backing) in the fourth, third and second words of the clue.

10a         Actually taking on phone company owing money (8)
INDEBTED — Actually or really contains (taking on) the two letter abbreviation for the national phone company.

11a         Mass said first for puritan (8)
MORALIST — Begin with the one letter abbreviation for M(ass), follow that with a word meaning said or verbal and finish it off with the letter that looks like a one and the st.

13a         Starting to appear less exciting really, initially (6)
STALER — A Ray T special – the first letters (initially) of the remaining words in the clue.

15a         Ailment’s best treated ringing hospital foundation (13)
ESTABLISHMENT — An anagram (treated) of AILMENT’S BEST contains (ringing) the one letter abbreviation for H(ospital).

18a         Children go nuts almost shaking teddy? (13)
UNDERCLOTHING — An anagram (shaking) of CHILDREN GO and NUT(s) (almost) – this is an all in one piece of lingerie which is a bit like a babygro for grown-ups.

22a         Greek god’s about gutted accepting heathens (6)
PAGANS — The Greek god of woods, fields and flocks, with his ‘S, contains (about) the first and last letters (gutted) of A(cceptin)G. This one took me ages to ‘see’ although the answer had to be what it is.

24a         Physical work’s rejected in pen (8)
CORPORAL — A pen or enclosure goes round (in) a reversal (rejected) of the usual abbreviation for a musical work.

26a         Boss promises to pay hard-working (8)
STUDIOUS — A boss or rivet is followed by the usual crosswordland promises to pay.

27a         Mournful song from Led Zeppelin singer penning single (6)
PLAINT — The surname of the lead singer of Led Zeppelin contains (penning) the letter that looks like a one or single.

28a         Silver brought back covered by excise charge (8)
DELEGATE — This charge isn’t the kind that a bull might do – it means appoint or hand over the responsibility for something. A reversal (brought back) of the chemical symbol for silver is contained in (covered by) a verb to excise or erase.

29a         Declines to go after circular saws (6)
ADAGES — A small circular or advertisement is followed by (to go after) a verb to decline or grow old.



1d            Head of buddleia emerges producing flowers (6)
BLOOMS — The first letter (head of) B(uddleia) is followed by a word meaning emerges in a rather threatening way.

2d            Front line deviously reshaped round middle of war (9)
SPEARHEAD — An anagram (deviously) of RESHAPED which contains (round) the middle letter of wAr.

3d            Colour of little wound? (7)
SCARLET — If a little drop is a dropLET then a little wound or mark is a ****LET. Hmm – not easy to give a decent hint for this.

5d            Fix time for drink (4)
PINT — A verb to fix or nail is followed by the abbreviation for T(ime).

6d            Fast one from con man on the phone (7)
CHEETAH — A homophone (on the phone) of a con man or trickster sounds like an animal which is capable of running very fast.

7d            Speed getting left behind animal (5)
RATEL — Speed or velocity is followed by the abbreviation for L(eft).

8d            Second time around Queen soften (8)
MODERATE — A little abbreviation for a very short space of time (second) is followed by another time or age which contains (around) the regnal cipher for our Queen.

12d         Nice bust remodelled on French article (6)
SUBTLE — An anagram (remodelled) of BUST is followed by the French word for the definite article.

14d         Bar in club is trouble (6)
BISTRO — Lurker number two – the answer is hidden in the third, fourth and fifth words of the clue . . .

16d         Devouring extract of ginseng or ginger (9)
ENGORGING — . . . and another one, this time hidden in the last three words of the clue. If we ever have three lurkers in one crossword I reckon someone is out to get me as I always miss them.

17d         Alleged drunk swallowing very big measure (8)
SUPPOSED — A word that means drunk or quaffed contains (swallowing) a two letter abbreviation for very big or larger than usual.

19d         Published piece that shows where one stands (7)
RANKING — part of a verb meaning published and a chess piece.

20d         Stuck, the compiler’s turned white (7)
IMPALED — How the compiler might say he is, followed by another way of saying turned white or blanched.

21d         Loud instruments and quiet instruments? (6)
FLUTES — The abbreviation for the musical instruction to play loudly followed by some old stringed instruments which are shaped like half a pear gives us some woodwind instruments.

23d         Porridge in heartless gaol, full of regret (5)
GRUEL — The first and last letters (heartless) of G(ao)L contain (full of) a verb to regret or feel remorse for.

25d         Reportedly wriggled out of tube (4)
DUCT —A homophone (reportedly) of wriggled out of or evaded.

I liked 10 and 18a and 1 and 6d. My favourite was 25a because it made me laugh.

The Quickie Pun:- ANGER + RUN + AID = HAND GRENADE

69 comments on “DT 28490

  1. 6d my favourite in this very accessible Ray T puzzle. Enjoyable too, and just about the right amount of difficulty before settling down to concentrate on the test match from The Oval. Overall 2*/4*.

    Thanks to Ray and to Kath for her early review.

    Another truly awful therefore enjoyable Quickie pun today.

  2. 3*/4*. This was as enjoyable as ever for a Ray T production but I found big differences in difficultly in various sectors. The NW & SE went straight in – almost R&W, the SW took a little more teasing out and the NE held out to the bitter end. As a guitar player I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that 4a was my last one in, although in my defence I would only have thought of a strummer as a player and not an implement to play with.

    I put “ranking” for 19d as a not very convincing all-in-one, but I am not sure that I understand Kath’s DD alternative at all.

    18a was my favourite, and thank you Kath for the nice picture.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

    1. For 19d – ranking was the answer that was ‘accepted’ when I submitted my solution to the DT puzzle web site; and, I agree with RD on his all-in-one comment.

    2. Just a thought – ‘ranking’ works if you use ‘ran’ as in ‘ran an article in the Telegraph’ and follow it with a chess piece.

        1. And have you told BD that I’m obviously not!!
          Oh dear, and :oops: and :roll:
          Apologies for the screw up with 19d – I didn’t really get it either and will fix it later but have to go out now.
          Maybe someone else could fix it for me, please!

  3. I’d agree with Kath that this was at the easier end of Mr. T’s 4a but no less enjoyable for that.
    Interesting to see LZ making a second appearance in as many days – yesterday’s Toughie being the first.
    Don’t recall having met the 7d badger before today although as Kath didn’t comment I guess I’ve just forgotten him!

    Top three for me were 18a plus 3&6d.
    Devotions to Mr. T and many thanks to Kath for the beautifully illustrated review.

    PS For anyone with time to spare, the Samuel Toughie is quite doable.

    1. Your favourite non-Irish detective has a trickier in places than usual crossword in today’s FT

          1. Failed last time I gave it a try – will have another try. Probably just ‘clicking’ in the wrong place!

              1. Thanks, Pommers. Entirely my own fault for skimming the page – I thought that clicking on the puzzle was simply going to give me a list of the winners. Must concentrate more…..

        1. In case you’re not familiar with FT setters :-

          Bradman = Giovanni
          Sleuth = Shamus
          Dante = Rufus
          Orense = Jay
          Mudd = Dada

          Rosa Klebb = Arachne. Grauniad setter and well worth a look as her stuff in the FT is a bit more benign than in Gauniad where she’s a bit tricky.

  4. Many thanks for the hints, Kath.
    At least that’s over for another fortnight.

  5. Another enjoyable Thursday puzzle completed at a smidge under a gallop – 1.5*/3.5*.

    I did have to BRB check a couple of answers including 27a after I had had to google Led Zeppelin since I had no idea who the singer was.

    Favourite 24a.

    Thanks to the Ray T and Kath.

  6. Online version shows ‘ranking’ as the answer to 19d.

    Cannot see how it fits the clue, though…..can see ‘shows where one stands’ but don’t understand the rest.
    Probably being dense…..

  7. Gentle start to the day. */***. I agree with earlier comment(s). I actually saw RAN KING straight away. I got 27a but had to deduce the Led Zep member. Not sure I had any particular favourites today.

  8. Not too tricky and no outstanding clues, but I did quite like 3d & 29a.
    Many thanks to Mr T and to Kath for the review. **/***

  9. Judging by these comments, I’m either having an off day or I don’t get along with Ray T. Or it could be because, rain having stopped mowing, I came in to do the big one. I still didn’t get 3 of them. Thanks Kath for hints.

    I would liken it to trying to get some things out of a can. You get a bit out at a time and then it all comes out in a rush. Coconut milk is what I am thinking of……….I have now learnt that you have to blend it with a fork before you empty the tin, otherwise the liquid bit goes everywhere. I not think there is a Xword equivalent……….

    On the other hand, the quickie was done bam, bam, bam- just like that – before I got out of bed.

    1. With you on not getting along with ray t (sorry!) Too convoluted on several clues – really struggled in places and finally abandoned to my husband to finish!! His extra stubborn streak got him there in the end!

  10. Yet another fine puzzle, a **/**** for me.
    As for ‘ranking ‘ my reference book gave ran as published and I followed this with the chess piece to give standing; a double definition eludes me.
    Thanks Kath for the pics ,looked forward to a teddy bare, and not disappointed.
    Unusual for Mr Plant to be involved in a clue, if it had been Mr Dylan, we would have had a tune from the tuneless no doubt.
    Mr P and Mrs Krauss would have been just the ticket !

    1. Apologies – I corrected the bit under the ‘click here’ but forgot to change the hint. It should make sense now

  11. Very nice and I’ll agree it’s at the easier end of RayT’s spectrum. **/****.

    Thanks to Kath and RayT.

    P.S. Why do we never have photo-opportunities like 18a when I’m writing the blog?

    1. I always think that the only problem (apart from 18d today which was just plain dim) with Ray T crosswords is the lack of photo opportunities.
      When they occur I try to keep them ‘tasteful’.
      Go on then, give us an example of what you would have put for a photo to illustrate 18a.

      1. I would have put a very tasteful picture of a teddy bear. But I would have had about an hour of fun searching for “suitable” photos in Google images :wink:

        1. Ha ha. The blog is a better place now. I smiled at Kath’s illustration because such a picture is now a rarity. It illustrated the garment which I remember well. (Cannot say more). Hopefully we are well past the infantile ‘stuff’ that went before and upset so many.

  12. Interested as I am in the cryptic crossword I am not yet preoccupied with who the setter is and his/ her particular style. All of them are brilliant as far as I am concerned. But judging from the comments today I must be on a different wave length to Mr T. Though I completed the puzzle it took me a while to fathom some of the clues. Thank you Kath, I would never have guessed what a teddy was. The only teddy I was familiar with was the soft toy.

  13. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the review and hints. Nice puzzle, that I found very tricky. Needed the hints for 17d, I was trying to think of a word for being drunk, rather than a word for the act of drinking, good misdirection. Also was beaten by 18a&14d, it’s a long time since I failed on an anagram and a lurker. Well played Ray T. Favourite was 29a, great surface. Was 3*/4* for me.

  14. 27a is a new word to me – I was pondering about Plant and ‘i’ for ages before I looked it up in the BRB.

    I still don’t understand 24a but it fitted so I ‘bunged it in’.

    The rest was an enjoyable romp with the full gamut of clue types – good fun!

    1. Hi Michael,
      Not sure whether it’s the definition of the answer that you’re unfamiliar with or the wordplay of the clue. If it’s the latter then you need a 5 letter word for a pen (the type where cowboys may enclose horses, cattle etc.) into which you slot a reversal of one of the usual 2 letter abbreviations for a type of musical composition.

      1. Ah, just me being a bit thick – I didn’t see what the enclosure was until you mentioned cowboys!

        My blood sugar level might be a bit low – time for some emergency cake!

  15. One of Ray t ‘s more accessible productions. I admit I am a convert , especially if I do the puzzle whilst watching test cricket! Thanks to Ray and Kath.

  16. **/***. An enjoyable puzzle with favourites 24a&6&21d. Thanks to Kath and Ray T.

  17. I sometimes find on RayT days that the groaning at synonyms being stretched outweighs the smiles at the clever bits, but not today. I loved this one. Ticks for 10a, 24a, 26a, 29a, 1d, 3d, 5d, 6d, 16d, 20d, and 25d. My favourite is 3d. I now see that he’s a bit of a chestnut, but I think I was meeting him for the first time today. 3d also recalled the Tara discussion from Tuesday, and it’s interesting that the lead singer of Led Zeppelin may fall into a similar category. Perhaps the 1950s will turn out to be the sweet spot for back-page cultural references :)

    Thanks to RayT for a very entertaining crossword and to Kath for a very entertaining set of hints.

  18. A bonus this week – 3 hidden words from the King of Lurkage. Joint favourites today, 19 and 23 but also many other good clues with great surfaces. Thanks to RayT for compensating for England’s cricketers.

  19. I thought it was about average in terms of difficulty for a RayT puzzle, the answers needed their usual prising out, and there was lots to enjoy as usual. At least “rhino” didn’t crop up for a third successive day, that would have been remarkable!

    I ticked four Across clues as my personal favourites, 4, 10, 11 and 18.

    Many thanks to Mr Terrell and to Kath.

  20. Wow! Are we sure that it is a Ray T 😃 As I actually completed it ***/*** plenty of fine clues: 6d, 20d, 25d & 4a 😜 Loved the pictures, thanks to Kath and to Ray T 😉 I thought the Quickie Pun was pretty stunning as well 😜

  21. Not altogether plain-sailing today but a couple of leg-ups from Kath helped to sort out the laggards. Not too keen on 13a as ‘less exciting’. Have not heard of LZ singer in 27a so was hooked on lament which complicated matters in the SE. Liked the surface read for 18a clue so that’s my Fav. Thank you RayT and Kath.

  22. I don’t know why I cannot get on RayT’s wavelength. I thought I was mastering it at one time, but today I think I’ve left about half unsolved.
    Oh, well, better luck next time, maybe tomorrow’s will be more my style.
    Thanks to RayT, not your fault I’m so dim, and to Kath for the blog.

  23. Never heard of teddy meaning 18a. 27a was easy, saw Led Zeppelin in1973, fabulous gig at Caird Hall, Dundee. Otherwise a good one, very enjoyable and just mind-stretching enough. **/*** from me.

  24. Problem day but entirely my fault because I could not read my writing. Once that was sorted out I enjoyed the rest of it, several giggles 18a an example. No favourites but just relieved I finished albeit with some electronic help.

  25. Evening all. Many thanks to Kath for the decryption and to all for your comments.


    1. Good evening, Mr T. Bet you shook your head over some of us making such a meal out of 19d!

  26. I did not know either the 18a garment or the 27a singer but managed to get both from the wordplay. Sure that the other half would have known them both if she had been here. Exactly the sort of puzzle we expect and enjoy from RayT. Word count checked and correct once again.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  27. Not overly difficult and a pleasure to solve. 18a was my fave and overal 2/3.5*.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath for her review.

  28. Thanks to everyone for the comments and to Ray T for the crossword.
    Apologies again for the complete mess-up of 19d – will I ever live it down – and thanks to CS for sorting it out in my absence.
    Really need to go to bed so night night and sleep tight to all of you.

  29. I worked out that finest would be ‘best’ and since would be ‘as’ and promptly but ‘beasts’ into 1ac. Made sense to me as they are the most evil things. Many thanks for the review Kath. I needed to check where I’d gone wrong. Quite clearly hadn’t boxed something in properly. The rest was fairly plain sailing. Thank you setter. 21 down was my favourite.

  30. Just as I thought Ray and I were beginning to get along, he offers up this confection, which shows we are as far apart as ever. Started this afternoon, got stuck, read a book, did hospital things (had a shower!) had another look, read more book, returned and finally limped across the line after some hours. No smiles, no little splashes of joy, just a trudge. Thanks to Kath and Ray 5*/1*

  31. Another excellent Ray T creation! About average in difficulty for him, but hugely enjoyable. Good to see one of my favourite bands – Led Zeppelin – getting a mention. I still listen to their first three albums regularly – brilliant prog rock! 3*/4*.

Comments are closed.