DT 28502 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28502

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28502

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone. This is a Ray T crossword – it has most of his trademark clues and some particularly good anagrams. I didn’t find it too difficult but, as always, I’m more than happy for anyone, or everyone, to disagree with me. The Quickie pun is a good one too.

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons so only do that if you want to see one.

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


1a            Dress up lie foolishly covering a resentment (11)
DISPLEASURE — An anagram (foolishly) of DRESS UP LIE which includes (covering) the A from the clue.

10a         Men scoffed after harangue (5)
ORATE — Our usual crosswordland two letter abbreviation for members of the armed forces not holding commissions (men) followed by scoffed, or had a meal.

11a         Sailor saw a bit on travelling (9)
BOATSWAIN — An anagram (travelling) of SAW A BIT ON

12a         Almost dismiss anger with graduate vacantly producing blasphemy (9)
SACRILEGE — All but the last letter (almost) of a verb to dismiss from employment, another verb to anger or annoy and, finally, the first and last letters (vacantly) of G(raduat)E.

13a         Like this compiler would start to entertain digression (5)
ASIDE — A little short word that means like or in this way, how the compiler might say he would and the first letter (start to) of E(ntertain).

14a         Shake head finally facing stranger (6)
DODDER — The last letter (finally) of (hea)D and then a synonym for stranger or less normal.

16a         Stones admitting sex worries (8)
AGITATES — These stones are semi-precious gems and they contain (admitting) a little short word often used to mean sex – sex appeal or activity.

18a         Return of Queen — sense overlapping sample record collection (8)
REGISTRY — A reversal (return) of the two letters for our Queen and then a four letter word meaning sense or crux and a three letter word that means sample or test – the last letter of the first and the first of the second are the same (overlapping) so they share that letter. Oh dear – that’s a bit of pig’s ear but it’s as good as it gets.

20a         Girl excelling in serving, having artistic beginnings (6)
GEISHA — A Ray T special – the first letters (beginnings) of the remaining words in the clue.

23a         Your old skinny sweetheart (5)
THINE — Skinny or slender and the middle letter (heart) of swEet.

24a         Covered empty loft before going into outhouse (9)
SHELTERED — An outhouse contains (going into) the first and last letters (empty) of L(of)T and a poetic word that means before.

26a         Failing that mother wisely comprehends (9)
OTHERWISE — Our first lurker or hidden answer indicated by comprehends or grasps – he’s hiding in the third and fourth words of the clue.

27a         Black night’s beginning after storm (5)
RAVEN — Storm or talk wildly is followed by (after) the first letter (beginning) of N(ight).

28a         Clear front of Tyne Tunnel — car’s broken down (11)
TRANSLUCENT — The first letter (front of) T(yne) is followed by an angram (broken down) of TUNNEL CAR’S.



2d            Individual Sarah and Abraham conceived originally (5)
ISAAC — And another Ray T special – the first letters (originally) of the remaining words in the clue. I’m never quite sure what to underline as the definition in this type of clue.

3d            Force to accept Church upset faithful (7)
PRECISE — A verb to force or lever contains a reversal (upset) of one of the usual two letter crosswordland abbreviations for Church.

4d            Symbol we see partly resemble medallion? (6)
EMBLEM — Our second lurker (partly) – the answer is hidden in the last two words of the clue.

5d            Search small grotto and say name echoing (8)
SCAVENGE — S(mall) is followed by a grotto or underground chamber and then a reversal (echoing or coming back) of the two letter abbreviation of the Latin for example or say, and N(ame).

6d            Hinge on craft providing new opening (7)
RESTART — Hinge or depend on is followed by a craft or skill.

7d            Criminal group share respect (13)
CONSIDERATION — Our usual criminal – not lag but another one – and a group or team are followed by a share or allowance.

8d            With help climbing inside measures beams (8)
RADIATES — Measures or grades contain (inside) a reversal (climbing) of a synonym for help or assistance.

9d            Getting dinner and gut’s rumbling (13)
UNDERSTANDING — An anagram (rumbling) of DINNER AND GUT’S.

15d         In which boxers do combat? (8)
DOGFIGHT — These boxers aren’t the kind who beat hell out of each other in the name of sport, they’re ones with four legs and a tail.

17d         Terrible puns — air’s becoming sort of blue (8)
PRUSSIAN — An anagram (terrible) of PUN’S AIR.

19d         One fleeces lambs trimmed right round a river (7)
SHEARER — Some lambs (or ewes or rams) without their last letter (trimmed) are followed by the one letter abbreviation for R(ight) and contain (round) the A from the clue and another abbreviation, this time the one for R(iver.

21d         Hospital department twisting about in charge of intestines (7)
ENTERIC — Everyone’s favourite (and most common crosswordland) hospital department is followed by a reversal (twisting) of the abbreviation that means about or concerning, and then another abbreviation, this time it’s I(n) C(harge).

22d         Party taking in a show (6)
REVEAL — A rowdy party or celebration contains (taking in) the A from the clue.

25d         Rent forced to be capped (5)
RIVEN —Forced or pushed into doing something without its first letter (capped).

I liked 16 and 23a and 6 and 15d. I think my favourite has to be 26a for the sneaky use of the word used as a hidden answer indicator.


62 comments on “DT 28502

  1. I enjoyed this very much – I’d pick 2d as a favourite for its nice All-In-One ness. I also liked the ‘echoing’ reversal indicator in 5d

    Thanks to Ray for the fun and Kath for the explanations

    People solving today’s Toughie using the paper version may wish to note that the enumeration for 20a is 4,5 not 9 as shown, and then they won’t be held up as much as I was trying to work out whether I had the correct solution. The online version is correct.

  2. Well, I found this a real battle. I reserve 5* for puzzles that I cannot solve without electronic assistance, so this was a solid 4*. I saw the anagram fodder for 1a at the first reading but just could not see the answer. I nearly reached for my battery powered assistant, but didn’t. This slowed the top half tremendously.

    And for some stupid reason I was convinced that 20a was a tennis player that I hadn’t heard of. Even when the answer popped into my head it took me a short while to parse it, and then banged my head against a wall for a while to make myself feel better.

    My dear departed co-solver mate Geoff would have called this a real Thursday Thatcher, because it was a right £$%^&* (insert epithet of choice).

    Many thanks to Ray and Kath.

  3. As per CS’s comments above really, but at the time I failed to fully appreciate the significance of ‘echoing’. Good stuff indeed.

  4. I really enjoyed this and agree with Crypticsue about 2d – it made a nice easy start but such a clever clue. Brings back memories of RE at school and wonderment at all that begat-ing!
    Many thanks to the setter and to Kath. Am in awe of the hinters who not only solve the puzzle but also produce a comprehensive set of hints with accompanying pictures – and all before I have had my second cup of tea.

    1. Thank you for your last sentence – much appreciated.
      I don’t know what other ‘hinty people’ do but I do the crossword when it’s available i.e. at midnight – then I play ‘hunt the pictures’ which takes me for ever because it’s such fun. Then I go to bed.
      In the morning when I get up all I need to do is the hints and the tidying up stuff.
      I am very much slower than the other ‘hinty people’ – I do know that, but it’s not a race.

      1. You do a wonderful job! I don’t know how you manage to sleep when it is your ‘turn’. But thank you for adding so much enjoyment to a favourite pastime.

      2. However you hint, fast or slow, up or down or inside out, it is much appreciated. Btw, you graded this as a ** for difficulty. Ulp! Thanks Kath.

  5. Another lovely Mr. T puzzle with all the usual trademarks including a few definitions that will doubtless upset Brian!
    The 27a/25d combo were my last ones in – fortunately that unusual middle letter meant I got them both at virtually the same time.
    I had ticks alongside 16&26a plus 7,9,17&22d but I think the star of the show has to be the Quickie pun.

    Devotions to Mr. T and many thanks to Kath for occupying the big red chair again – I think you must have plenty of IOUs to call in from your fellow Thursday bloggers!

  6. Ray T’s clever cluing made for a delightful challenge. Needed Kath’s help to parse 18a. Fav 24a or possibly 23a. 16a, sex appeal yes but not sure about sex on its own. Thanks setter and hinter.

  7. I had quite a slow start but then accelerated away once I had got on Ray’s wavelength, which is not always easy. I think I will select 5d as my COTD for reasons mentioned by CS above. Very neat and clever. Overall this was 2.5*/4* for me. A good tussle and plenty of fun on the journey.

    Thanks to Ray and Kath for an entertaining blog.

  8. Gosh this was a struggle brain obviously not in gear. Very enjoyable though it’s good to struggle every now and then keeps your interest up.
    Thanks to Kath and RayT

  9. A very enjoyable solve. I agree with Kath’s rating for this one. For me personally, I would place today’s puzzle at the easier end of Ray (woops! – nearly put ‘Rat’!) T’s spectrum – several straight forward long anagrams and a few initial letters / lurkers jobs to help one along. The only ‘stretch’ I could see lay with 3d – which was really not all that difficult to track. Favourite 16a, probably due to that slightly naughty edge favoured by our esteemed setter!

  10. A regular solve for me today,no hold ups like yesterdays puzzle so going for a **/***.
    Glad that Kath confirmed the overlapping T in 18a,as I can’t recall seeing this before and I thought that the T on T might be the solution.
    There were too many anagrams for my liking but some fine charades like 12a, no real stand out clue today.

    1. If four anagrams constitutes too many, you’ll do well to find a backpager with fewer, Beaver!

      P.S. A lovely picture of you on Page 7 of today’s paper by the way ;-)

  11. I fell asleep during this puzzle. I don’t think that has ever happened before. A steady solid solve of steady solid clues from my favourite setter. Thanks Ray. Thanks Kath. You blogs always make me smile. Thanks also to Proper Charley for your kind words. Roll on Saturday I need a rest

  12. I found this somewhat tricky. Liked several clues and perhaps 15d the most. Thanks to setter and Kath.

  13. Another very enjoyable Ray T Thursday puzzle completed at a fast canter – **/***.

    Favourite – 18a – I liked the shared letter and how it was clued and explained in the hint (plus, of course, the reference to HM).

    Thanks to the Ray T and Kath.

  14. Smashing crossword! I had to work at it to complete it but it was very satisfying to do.
    26a was my favourite; it took a while for the penny to drop I have to admit!
    3/4* overall.
    Thanks to RayT, and to Kath for her review.

  15. I really enjoyed this too, the bottom half went in fairly rapidly compared to a usual RayT, but the top half took considerably longer.

    I thought 2d was cleverly done, but my three podium places were occupied by 5d, 9d and 25d. The old repetition radar bleeped for the second day running, with “beginning” used twice as a first letter indicator.

    Many thanks to Mr Terrell and to Kath.

  16. A bit of a struggle after a slow start but it gradually came together once I’d got the anagrams and the words made up of leading letters (there must be a name for it) and the hidden words – quite difficult but completed before lights out!

  17. Similar difficulty to today’s Toughie, if not a tad harder. 2.5*/3.5*

    We nominate 20a as our favourite. It’s similar to 2d, granted, but altogether slicker we thought.

    Thanks to Kath and Ray T.

    1. Agree – 20a also excellent. Michael is right – there should be a word for this type of clue. Leading lurker?

            1. That was a fascinating read, Silvanus – many thanks for that.
              It would seem that the actual wording used to describe the particular device that Ray T and other setters use is null ciphers but I agree with you that acrostics has a far more pleasing ring to it.
              Can’t help but align it to a children’s game though!

        1. Gosh yes, of course! Acrostic. Le mot juste.
          And, curiously, I removed one (homophone) from our German Shepherd today. It died happily though from a good dousing of vodka.

  18. Good stuff from Mr T as ever. Lots of goodies, I’ll nominate 5d for the gong.
    Many thanks to setter and to Kath for the blog.

  19. Well I managed 11 answers, the rest could have been written in Latin for all the sense they made. Probably the most incomprehensible puzzle ever produced by Ray T. For a me a waste of time and newsprint. I thought I was beginning to get the hang of his puzzles but this is just !!!!!!!!

  20. Well if some did this at a gallop or canter, I would be one of the “also ran”, at the back. I found this very hard, and I can’t even claim to be a novice. Even when I used the hints for,the across clues I still was left in the dark of several of the down clues, and then had to read the down hints as well. Even a couple of the anagrams defeated me. Definitely not on the wavelength. Fingers crossed for tomorrow. 😢

  21. Phew made it 😜 ****/*** and Kath tells me it is a Ray T puzzle hoorah 🤗 Favourites are 15a and 28a Time for a well earned drink 🍷🍷 Thanks to Kath and to Ray T, nice sunny day here in the East, what a difference to yesterday 😎

  22. RayT had his easy hat on today. 3 nice anagrams round the outside gave me a start and his lurkers were quite easy to spot. There were 2 very nice acronyms though and they are my favourites for today, 2 and 20. Also liked 5 6 17 and 18. Maybe a Toughie next week. I await with bated breath.

  23. Our opening remark of “Oh good, it looks like a RayT” was fully justified once again. Good fun from start to finish which included doing the clue word count too.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  24. Evening all. Many thanks to Kath for the decryption and to everybody for your comments. Much appreciated.


  25. Hi Mr. T – good to hear from you as always.
    The Quickie pun really did for me – how on earth do you think them up!

  26. More like *** for difficulty here, mostly because I just couldn’t get the anagrams quickly enough…

  27. 2*/3* for me, rather heavy on the anagrams for my tastes. If l have a favourite, it’s 23a. VMTs to Ray T and Kath.

  28. I managed about two-thirds which represents a success.
    No favourite, thanks Kath.

  29. I did this rather fine puzzle after a v long day with a stiff MacAllan in hand whilst lying in front of the burner… and fell asleep for a bit. Like MP – it’s not happened before. Woke up and finished it off. I must say though it’s nudging a solid 3* for difficulty.

    Liked the Corssowrd a lot and liked the blog – thanks to both. Now, back to that examination of the inside of my eyelids!

  30. Mistake in crossword 28502
    In yesterday’s crossword, the clue to 28 across implied that the answer meant “clear”. The answer was ”translucent”, which has an almost opposite meaning – frosted glass is translucent, whereas clear glass is not. It would have been better if the clue had started with a word such as “cloudy” or “frosted”, rather than “clear”.
    I know that some dictionaries may give “clear” or “transparent” as a synonym for translucent, but this merely means that they are wrong. The usage has arisen because people have tended to use a less common word thinking that it sounds somehow more important, or (mistakenly) that it shows them to be well – educated.

  31. I’m not ashamed to say I found this really tough. I am a beginner though, and am still learning the ‘standard’ things most experienced folk know. (The first part of 10a for example).

    Nevertheless, I managed to get within six or seven clues before resorting to these (magnificent) hints.

    My heartfelt thanks to all those providing hints by the way – you really are responsible for me not giving up on cryptic crosswords altogether.

    Interestingly, I got all the anagrams fairly easily, even 1a, which was the first one I got. My favorite clue had to be 2d. Very clever!

    1. Welcome from me too.
      Lots of people find crosswords set by Ray T (Thursday’s setter who does roughly alternate Thursdays) really difficult.
      As Gazza says, stick around here and you’ll learn lots – if you don’t understand something you only have to ask and someone will reply, usually very quickly.
      Keep going and good luck.

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