DT 28495 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28495

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28495

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****


Kia ora from Aotearoa.
                Our very wet winter continues. Everything seems to have been in a state of sogginess for months and we are all looking forward to the gradually increasing day lengths to help the drying process as our spring approaches. 
Nothing too complicated from Jay this week and the usual generous helping of good fun.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Housework will be split to show enterprise (7,8)
COTTAGE INDUSTRY : Split housework into two separate words. Then we want a word for a small house followed by a synonym for work or business.

9a     Doing sentry duty in rocky ground screening west of airport (2,5)
ON GUARD : An anagram (rocky) of GROUND includes the letter from the west (left hand side) of airport.

10a     Pleasant-sounding doctor takes look inside (7)
MELODIC : A five letter informal word for a doctor has a short word meaning to look inside it.

11a     Gave up hope, seeing legal document cut by second couple (9)
DESPAIRED : The abbreviation for second and a word for a couple are inside a type of legal document that shows ownership.

12a     Very dry beast with no tail (4)
BRUT : A synonym for a beast loses its last letter.

13a     Italian bridge books returned by rail, mistakenly (6)
RIALTO : An anagram (mistakenly) of RAIL and the reversal of one of the groups of books that make up the Bible.

15a     Record including name and instrument used for such cattle (8)
LONGHORN : A word for a record or diary includes the abbreviation for name and then a type of wind instrument.

18a     Most of planet consumed in flood (8)
SATURATE : Remove the last letter from one of the planets of the solar system, and then a word meaning consumed or devoured.

19a     Prayers of star embracing nurse (6)
NOVENA : The two letters that stand for an enrolled nurse are inside a star that suddenly increases in brightness.

22a     Range of a record signing, initially (4)
ALPS : ‘A’ from the clue, then a record that used to play at 33 rpm and the first letter of signing.

23a     Frank returns carrying material for board covers (5,4)
PLACE MATS : A delicate type of material is found inside the reversal of a word meaning frank or impress with an image.

26a     Country doctor too — he’s Liberal, for a start (7)
LESOTHO : An anagram (doctor) of TOO HES L(iberal) .

27a     The French — after unusually quiet drink (7)
TEQUILA : An anagram (unusually) of QUIET and the French definite article.

28a     Decisive stage when investments become unprofitable? (5,2,2,6)
POINT OF NO RETURN : Split the clue after its second word to find this double definition.


1d     Soup for an American cowherd needs stirring (7)
CHOWDER : An anagram (needs stirring) of COWHERD.

2d     What ancients wore to speak at length? (5)
TOGAS : ‘To’ from the clue and a word meaning speak at length or ramble on.

3d     Blast area for sculpting stone (9)
ALABASTER : An anagram (for sculpting) of BLAST AREA.  (An appropriate anagram indicator to use here.)

4d     Target on river in Yorkshire is bear (6)
ENDURE : A word for a target or aim and a three letter Yorkshire river.

5d     Try to impress — call doctor before work (4-4)
NAME DROP : Call or entitle, then one of the two letter abbreviations for doctor and an artistic work.

6d     This fruit bug lives to a limited extent (4)
UGLI : A lurker hiding in the third and fourth words of the clue.

7d     Detours planned to include gold heraldic emblem (5,4)
TUDOR ROSE : An anagram (planned) of DETOURS includes one of the notations for gold. (Actually the heraldic notation)

8d     Chinese money protecting tiger maybe in part of Mexico (7)
YUCATAN : The standard monetary unit of China encloses the group of animals to which a tiger belongs.

14d     Worker getting one over one, for starters (9)
ANTIPASTI : A worker insect, then the Roman numeral one, a word meaning over or finished and the Roman one once again.

16d     Bizarre request — go in confusion (9)
GROTESQUE : An anagram (in confusion) of REQUEST GO.

17d     Son heads on holiday and calls on the way (5,3)
STOPS OFF : The abbreviation for son, then a word for heads or highest parts and a word for on holiday or not at work.

18d     Bribe covering demand for seafood (7)
SCALLOP : A bribe or inducement surrounds a word meaning demand or summon.

20d     Stay away from salt dye (7)
ABSTAIN : For salt we want one of the abbreviations used for a seafarer, and then a word meaning dye or mark with colour.

21d     Hide mark from shabby stuff as well (6)
TATTOO : A word for shabby stuff and then one meaning as well or also.

24d     Commercial on independent group of countries is so long (5)
ADIEU : A commercial plug, then the abbreviation for independent and the group of countries that the UK is moving away from.

25d     Waste time penning instruction to printer (4)
STET : And we finish with another lurker. This one is found in the first and second words of the clue.

We rather liked the clues with nicely disguised definitions, so have put 23a, 4d and 21d on our podium this week.

Quickie pun    brake    +    sit    +    ear    =    Brexiteer

70 comments on “DT 28495

  1. I really enjoyed 23a and that was my favourite until I did 28a, which gets today’s laurel wreath. This was another cracker from Jay, and certainly cheered up this damp and dreary morning in the Marches. 2*/4*.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks.

  2. Another very enjoyable Wednesday puzzle, completed at a fast gallop bordering on a R&W – */***.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a and 28a – long, non-anagrams will always end up on my list – and I can’t decide between them so it’s a dead heat.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

  3. Sometimes simple is best. Thank you 2k’s for putting up pictures which were neither rude nor scary, and for keeping the review so clear. A breath of fresh air and very much appreciated. My favourites were 2d ( made me smile), 21d and 28a. Thank you setter for a delightful puzzle.

  4. Excellent and clever puzzle. Well constructed clues like 18a and clever hidden lurkers.
    Best clue for me was 6d. Must admit I missed the anagram indicator in 9a but the answer was obvious. The term in 19a needed a Google query, not one I knew.
    For me **/****
    So much better than yesterday’s very poor offering.
    Thx to all

  5. 2*/5*. Simply wonderful! My podium choice aligns exactly with Florence’s: 2d, 21d & 28a (but I wouldn’t dare risk calling them all favourites).

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  6. Made a note of **/*** following completion . Like Young Salopian 23a was my favourite for the construction, 1a was a close second for its concise brevity.
    We seem to be in the middle of enjoyable puzzles-very few moans on the blog!.
    I think 19a was a new word but might have forgotten it, why does 26a appear so frequently in crosswords ?
    Thanks to 2 K’s for the pics-looking forward to lunch.

  7. A lovely puzzle to solve on a lazy morning so many thanks to Jay. Thanks too to The 2Ks for the lovely blog. There is plenty of food on show (thanks also to Jay for the food) I think the pictured drink is awful. May I please replace it with a G & T? The records at 22ac still play at 33 and a third RPM. There is a real resurgence in the sales of vinyl records. A much warmer sound than a digital CD


    We now have a LIKE star. Just like Facebook

      1. We have a gin frenzy here in the UK. There are gin festivals springing up all over the place. I have now got twelve different Gins on sale. Some served with this tonic and some with that. Some with cucumber, some with orange, some with strawberries and believe it or not some with good old fashioned lemon. I took a Martin miller gin and Fever Tree tonic water with ice and lemon to bed with me at 3.15am this morning. Lovely nightcap.

        1. Yes indeed – e.g. the third race at Goodwood this p.m. was the Bombay Sapphire Molecomb Stakes.

  8. A really enjoyable crossword and lovely pictures in the hints. I enjoyed every single clue but felt particularly warm towards 13a and 14d bringing as they did fond honeymoon memories.
    A Mexican trend as well as Italian, with 8d and 27a( which has less fond memories!). One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor . . . .
    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks for such a pleasant start to the day.

    1. Sadly not according to the latest article on p6 in today’s Telegraph. :sad:

      However I expect the next study will come to the opposite conclusion again. Still, whatever the so called experts say, surely the key is to keep on doing things that you enjoy.

      1. I couldn’t agree more. Something you are told is good for you is often denounced as being bad for you a few months later in some survey or other. Ignore the fads, the celebrity-endorsed superfoods, the dodgy diets and ‘expert’ advice, and pursue a balanced diet, moderate exercise and, as you rightly say, things you enjoy.

      2. If the articles don’t agree with my thoughts then they are piffle, if they agree with me then they are perfectly correct 😊

        In this case anyone who thinks tackling cryptic crossword is not good brain exercise, then they clearly don’t do them… I know they stretch me every day and beat thinking about what to make for dinner etc.

  9. A plethora of anagrams today. I am not complaining as I am a fan of them. This puzzle did not put up much of a fight but that is not to say that it was not enjoyable. I can’t decide between 1a and 28a for top clue.

  10. Sailed through this one until I suddenly came to a grinding halt over the heraldic emblem (which I was trying to make far more complicated than it was) and the area of Mexico which I tried to construct using the wrong currency.
    Also have to admit to leaving 26a blank until the checkers went in – another of those words that I can never spell correctly!

    Podium places went to 1&28a plus 2&5d.

    Thanks to Jay for an excellent puzzle and to our 2Ks for an equally excellent blog – the pic for 14d looks yummy!

    PS If you’re taking a vote on this, BD, put me down in the ‘no’ camp for the ‘like’ stars. I’d hate the site to become like that infernal Facebook.

    1. A nice touch of irony that someone has “liked” your comment about not liking “like stars”!

      PS. It wasn’t me. I’m in the dislike “like stars” camp too.

    2. I’m glad it wasn’t only me with the currency; I had the Y at the beginning and immediately jumped to the wrong conclusion.

    3. Where are the like stars coming from? Having managed to avoid having any of the social media site accounts, including Facebook, Twitter etc., I really don’t know how all that works. Although I must admit I would love to twitter back sometimes to the biggest twitter ranter of all time, he who shall not be named 😊

      1. Oh Gawd, isn’t it beginning to be the raunchiest soap opera of all time? I wonder how long Kelly will last, bizarre.

  11. More or less a read and write today, but enjoyable nonetheless. */***. I hadn’t come across 19a before but was able to work it out and then confirm in the dictionary. Maybe 23a my favourite. I’m not sure about the stars either.

  12. You can put me in the Dislike camp too.

    All fairly straightforward for me today, completed in ** time apart from 19a which, as an Anglican, I don’t think I have come across before. Nine days of prayers? Good grief, I get bored in the three-hour service!

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  13. Another nice offering from Jay, all good 19a caused a bit of brain fade but made it in the end.
    Thanks to 2ks and of course Jay

  14. Nice puzzle on this filthy wet day! The top half was a breeze, and then I came to a halt. The rest had to be teased out for a while before all fell into place. My two clues for the day were 18a and 21d. Actually the latter is favourite come to think of it.
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s who are obviously having the same weather as us, but do have summer to look forward to.

  15. I agree with the 2K’s – 2* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    10a took a while to untangle – for the doctor I thought about MO, then MD but didn’t see the medic which, to me anyway, is a medical student.
    I had to ask Mr Google about the 8a currency.
    23a had me scratching my head and I didn’t get 17d until I got 23a – my last two.
    Wasn’t sure which was the definition and which was the anagram indicator in 16d.
    I liked 18 and 28a and 6 and 14d.
    Thanks to Jay and to the Kiwis.
    Pouring with rain – everything is looking as if it’s almost Autumn.

  16. Just back from holiday to find Big Dave covered in stars and like, which I totally DISlike, can someone please explain?

  17. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable and quite straightforward puzzle. I liked 2&3d, but my favourite was 18a, good misdirection. Found the SW corner the hardest. Was 2*/4 * for me. My paper copy of the puzzle had a printer’s splurge of ink on it. For once I got the tippex out before I started :-)

  18. Jay on top form today, even if he did make life more difficult for himself by having to clue six answers ending in either “I”, “o” or “u”. Superbly entertaining, my top three, in solving order, were 2d, 1a and 10a.

    Many thanks to Mr Mutch and the 2Ks.

    P.S. Having been disheartened to read some of the comments emanating from Mr Kitty’s interesting analysis yesterday, I was probably more disheartened today to see the appearance of the “Like” stars. Over the last few years, this site has become one that I cherish, and today it seems slightly cheapened. This isn’t a popularity contest, it isn’t Facebook, it’s somewhere to discuss and appreciate crosswords in a civilised and, yesterday aside, respectful way and this unwelcome addition does nothing to improve that in my opinion. If anything, having seen its effects on the BBC’s website, adding “likes” (or dislikes) is inherently divisive and polarises opinions. I do hope that BD will reconsider and disable this facility. Rant over!

    1. I echo the thoughts in your P.S. 100%, Silvanus. I’ve only just got round to reading some of the comments on Mr Kitty’s blog last night and I was terribly disappointed to read what seemed to be an attack on him. His hints are always accurate and helpful and his pictures interesting and funny. He obviously puts a great deal of unpaid time and effort into his research and anyone who’s not interested in reading his findings need only jump past them by scrolling down a couple of inches to get to the hints. All in all last night was not the blog’s finest hour.

      1. I’ve also just been looking at yesterday’s blog and personally I think we should count ourselves lucky to have somebody who’s prepared to put the effort in to offer statistical analysis to those who are interested. If people aren’t interested they can always scroll down to the hints.

        I don’t always have time to read Mr K’s blog in it’s entirely, but when I do I find it most interesting.

        Today’s offering **/**** for me, with thanks to the 2Kiwis and Jay.

        1. Annoying predictive text. Part of the above comment should read “its entirety”, not “it’s entirely”….

      2. Well said, Gazza. In Jamaica we have a saying “cockroach don’t business in fowl fight”, but I feel I should say something about keeping this blog as friendly and courteous as it has been in the past. As for the “like” button, can’t we just ignore it chaps?

    2. Having just read this string, I went back to yesterday to see what the comments were about and can only say to those people who made such nasty and unnecessary comments – shame on you. Why not just ignore the statistics and read the bits you’re interested in? Why try to censor what some of us find fascinating and immeasurably clever? This is normally a friendly and supportive site and your negativity and unnecessary criticism is surely out of place. I like to remember what my wonderful grandmother used to say- if you haven’t got something nice to say just keep quiet!

      1. And then again, I can’t resist quoting a good friend of mine who cheekily once said ‘If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anyone . . . come and sit next to me’. (She absolutely didn’t mean it though).

  19. Normal pleasant Wednesday fare from Jay */*** I liked 14 & 16d. Thanks to the 2xKs and to Jay 😃 The wet weather is almost universal 🌨💨😏

  20. Good stuff as usual, if not very taxing. Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks. On to more pressing issues…

    As is often the case, I echo silvanus’ comments. I would add that I don’t see the point of the ‘like’ stars; it lengthens load time, increases scrolling and links to ‘Log into WordPress’ page. Absolutely meaningless waste of space. Hope we’re back to ‘normal’ soon on all fronts – particularly after yesterday’s shenanigans.

  21. Wow. This puzzle has just appeared on Sky news as a way of keeping your brain active.

      1. Another paper had a memory test yesterday where you were given 3 minutes to memorise stuff .Can I boast and say that I did pretty well ? I would have done better if I hadn’t become completely bored memorising a 30 long string of binary numbers so I only stuck at that task for 2 minutes.Anyway , the exercise has made me decide to spend a short amount of class time per week teaching memory skills to my students.I honestly think they are smarter than we were at that age but their memory skills are sorely lacking.

        1. Unless they are doing exams, young people don’t see the need to memorise. They use electronic gadgets to look up the answers. That’s not a criticism of young people, it’s just the way of the world. My generation had to memorise. We didn’t have gadgets that would give us instant answers.

        2. Hi Una,

          If you mean smarter in terms of being more worldly wise I’d agree with you, but I certainly don’t think today’s students are more intelligent on average. Their lack of memory skills may have something to do with having a short attention span, which is accentuated by modern media and also having smartphone apps and electronic aids to remind them of everything rather than committing things to their brains.

          1. No , I really believe they are smarter.I have seen 12 month olds use an I-phone , and I don’t mean chewing it.The kids are getting smarter .

  22. A very pleasant walk in the park . I liked 23a and 28a.
    Thanks to our NZ bloggers and Jay.

  23. Lovely puzzle today, not too difficult but bigly enjoyable.
    I particularly liked 1a and 28a, but 23a was fave and last one in.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis for a great start to my day.

  24. Very enjoyable.
    Got a bit lost with 19a as I thought our nurse was an SEN not an EN, so needed a bit of a nudge there. One for my RAM.
    Fav was 1a, inspired by my better half who instantly spotted the first word that had escaped me, even with all the checking letters!
    I do hope the blog has settled down now and that SL will reconsider. Also, there was a comment by Kitty about ‘doing othe blogs’ , I hope she has not decided to absent herself also, that would be a great shame indeed! Hopefully I have just misunderstood her comment.
    Thanks all.

  25. Two glasses of red and two small bottles of Vichy water in between were sufficient to solve this great crossword from Jay.
    23d was solved thanks to BD’s Saturday club as the frank was still fresh in my mind.
    Ticked 1a and 5d.
    Great stuff.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2ks for the review.

  26. Another excellent Wednesday puzzle. I particularly like 27a. Thanks to Jay and thanks to the 2Ks

  27. Morning all.
    Have just popped my head out the door and although it is still pre-dawn it is calm and starry out there and the radio forecast is for a fine sunny day. Wonderful, we are overdue for one.
    We have been reading through the overnight comments and would thoroughly endorse those made above by Silvanus and Gazza at comment 20. Perhaps the ‘like’ stars will be like the snow on the site at Christmas and disappear again soon.

  28. Just back from enjoyable afternoon’s racing at Un-Glorious Goodwood (poured with rain whole p.m.) preceded by excellent lunch at Badgers pub near Petworth and now time to comment on breakfast solving of today’s puzzle. 19a new to me so stored for future reference. Never too keen on table = board, as per 23a, although appreciate it is ‘officially’ recognised. Especially liked 28a and 20d. Thank you Jay and 2Kiwis. Topical Quickie pun took a bit of saying out loud before deciphering.

  29. Annoying stars aside, very nice puzzle with thanks to Jay and 2 KiWis. Guess I missed the mention of these blue thingies so will have to look back and get with the program.

  30. Lovely crossword – just what was needed on a wet windy evening! Few challenges along the way but 28d a favourite.

  31. Jay’s crosswords are always very fine indeed, and this one was lovely. I agree with the rating of **/****. The clues I especially liked were 15a, 23a and 28a, 5d and 28d.

    Many thanks to Jay for the enjoyment and to the 2Kiwis for a super blog.

  32. Many thanks for this – it’s fantastic to get hints and the answers after thinking about it all for far too long!!

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