DT 28513 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28513

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28513

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****


Kia ora from Aotearoa.
             Over the last few weeks we have been putting together our next overseas adventure. As well as arranging flights and itineraries we have had to deal with a rather involved process to obtain visas and then get some inoculations. It is all under control now and we are off to India in October. We are mainly visiting family who are living there for a couple of years, but as our 50th wedding anniversary happens on 28th October we thought that to visit the Taj Mahal would be a nice way to celebrate it.

The level of difficulty that we have seen in the last few Jay puzzles is continued in today’s offering with several head scratching clues to keep us challenged and amused.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a      Can I go out to play, with son being 12? (10)
CONTAGIOUS: An anagram (to play) of CAN I GO OUT and then the abbreviation for son.

6a     Make a deep impression in Bletchley (4)
ETCH : A lurker hiding in the last word of the clue.

10a     Pull Italian – namely … (2,3)
TO WIT : A three letter synonym for pull and the abbreviation for Italian.

11a     … street performer showing anger in achievement in front of the Queen (4-5)
FIRE-EATER : A word for anger is inside an achievement or worthwhile accomplishment and then the Queen.

12a     Managing to grasp difficulty at home with source of gas (8)
CATCHING : A word for a difficulty or fish hook, then the two letter ‘at home’ and the first letter of gas.

13a     Sartorial feature of primate in two lines (5)
LAPEL : A primate, of which human beings are a naked kind, is inside the repeated abbreviation for line.

15a     Ham is finished and cat is upset (7)
OVERACT : Ham here is a verb. Finished or completed and then an anagram (is upset) of CAT.

17a     Crime resulting from end of lost cause (7)
TREASON : The last letter of lost and then a word for cause.

19a     Group‘s place for sleeping beside lake (7)
COTERIE : The place for sleeping is a small bed and then one of the Great Lakes.

21a     Supplier seeing Queen before King? (7)
CATERER : This Queen is a female feline, then a poetic word for before and the single letter regnal cypher.

22a     This might call you about empty space for reversing (5)
PAGER : The two letter word for about and an empty space all gets reversed.

24a     Paints defeat mainly in scary liquid (8)
ACRYLICS : An informal word meaning utterly defeat loses its last letter and is placed inside an anagram (liquid) of SCARY.

27a     Opt for changes, rejecting fuel investments (9)
PORTFOLIO : An anagram (changes) of OPT FOR and then the reversal of a liquid fuel.

28a     Type of fruit fool containing raisins originally (5)
DRUPE : Fool here is a verb and inside this we have the first letter of raisins.

29a     Admire efforts to ring bank (4)
REEF : A lurker hiding in the first two words of the clue.

30a     Foothold established by game of cards with boss (10)
BRIDGEHEAD : A popular card game that has auction or contract variants is followed by a boss or leader.


1d     Energy after reduction is precious (4)
CUTE : The abbreviation for energy follows a word for a reduction.

2d     Retail outlet in the rag trade? (9)
NEWSAGENT : A cryptic definition. The ‘rags’ being sold here are not clothes.

3d      Trip regularly taken by African organisation is a lark (5)
ANTIC : The African organisation is the one we associate with Nelson Mandela and includes the first and third letters of trip.

4d     Deliver short film during international (7)
INFLICT : An informal word for a film or movie loses its last letter and is inside a three letter abbreviation for international.

5d     Respectable, and not lying! (7)
UPRIGHT : A double definition. The ‘not lying’  has nothing to do with untruths.

7d     Nip out of bed to perform a mathematical task (3,2)
TOT UP : We need another word for a nip or small drink of spirits, and then a word meaning out of bed.

8d     Uncompromising types may be unlucky crossing river (10
HARDLINERS : We need a 4,5 phrase meaning bad luck and put the one letter abbreviation for river into this.

9d     How do you do without love, and with tendency to be determined? (4-4)
HELL-BENT : A word of greeting (how do you do) loses the tennis score love and then a word for a tendency.

14d     Feel Telegraph, perhaps, should get a bit of a rocket (10)
TOUCHPAPER : Feel or make tactile contact and what the Telegraph is an example of. We need to be thinking fifth of November rather than NASA projects here.

16d     RAF’s requirement in demeanour and skill? (8)
AIRCRAFT : Demeanour or mien and then skill or ability.

18d     Scrupulous about supporting university criticism (9)
STRICTURE : Scrupulous or exacting, then the abbreviation for university and the word meaning about.

20d     Online seller always covers back (1-6)
E-TAILER : A word for back or rearmost portion is inside a poetic synonym for always.

21d     In Italy, Charles heads commercial crowd coming along for the ride (7)
CARLOAD : The Italian version of the name Charles and a commercial plug.

23d     Saving, or secretly hoarding plant (5)
GORSE : A lurker hiding in the first three words of the clue.

25d     Stay in temporary accommodation, getting deposit (5)
LODGE : A double definition.

26d     Looking embarrassed about a book? (4)
READ : The colour one becomes when embarrassed contains ‘A’ from the clue.

Today’s vote for favourite goes to 21d.

Quickie pun      history    +     onyx    =     histrionics

48 comments on “DT 28513

  1. Too hard for me, I had to resort to some electronic assistance. In the middle of a huge thunderstorm now – will this ‘summer’ ever end?
    ****/** from me.
    Whilst writing, does anyone else get ‘deja vu’ when doing crosswords? Not today, particularly, but sometimes I feel I have done one previously – is there any evidence of puzzles being recycled?

    1. I don’t know about whole puzzles being recycled in newspapers, but single clues certainly are. Since 1970, I’ve come across many instances of recycled clues (either exactly the same or slightly altered) – some in newspapers, but mostly in cryptic crossword books where they are easier to detect because of repeated visits to the same puzzles.

    2. What certainly does seem to happen quite regularly is an answer appearing in both the back-pager and the Toughie on the same day. Today is another of those occasions!

    3. I think you have asked that before. Seriously, I sometimes experience the same thing.

    4. While complete puzzles aren’t reused, some repetitions and echoes of previous clues are inevitable because there are a finite number of common words in English and a limited number of ways to clue them, especially at the back-page level. I gave an estimate of the challenge facing setters in the intro to my blog for DT 28308. Since purely by chance we expect to see eight answers repeated in every three week period (there’s a graph here), that deja vu feeling is to be expected.

      Senf is right about 19a being a chestnut. Since 2001, it’s appeared seven times on the back page clued as (sleeping place) + (lake). The most recent was DT 27989 on 15 December, 2015.

      Of the 32 answers in today’s puzzle, only 11a, 24a, and 28a have not been seen here before (and 28a has been used in a toughie). Even 20d has appeared twice before, the first sighting being in DT 26693 on 26 October, 2011. Of course even though most of the answers are not new, much of the clueing is.

      I don’t think any of this is a bad thing. If all of the clues were brand new to me, every puzzle would be like the first one I attempted and I’d be needing hours of solving time every day and probably would have given up by now.

  2. More difficult than usual today, and cannot quibble with the 2K’s ***/****.
    28a was a new word and 20d a contrived one, I logically constructed it from the clue so no grounds really for complaint.
    21d was hard to parse until I remembered Mr Ponti.
    Generally a high standard of cluing and good surface reads-like 27d.
    Thanks to 2k’s for the pics – 14d brought back memories-now banned on health and safety grounds no doubt.

  3. 3*/5*. Challenging but great fun as always.

    Favourite? Pick any one from 10a, 2d, 7d & 21d.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  4. A couple in the SE corner held me up and pushed out my solving time, but overall this was fun to solve and very enjoyable, as one expects from a Jay puzzle, so 3*/4* for me. I particularly enjoyed 24a and 9d.

    Many thanks to Jay for yet another romp through crosswordland, and to the 2Ks.

  5. Another tough one today, I was afraid that the DT would punish us after last weeks excellent puzzles with some real headaches and it’s proving to be right. All this week has been tricky and this is no exception. Having said that I rather enjoyed this one with some well hidden definitions but living in dread of tomorrow’s puzzle. Luckily I am away most of the day playing that stupid game with a little white ball. To quote Andy Hamilton, Hell has no golf courses as golfers have suffered enough!
    For me ***/***
    Thx to all

  6. I’ll go along with previous comments, this was a little tougher than usual. As Beaver says, 28a is new to me too, and again, 20d I hadn’t heard, but is blindingly obvious.

    I keep missing that meaning of Queen for 21a, so it was the SE corner that held me up too.

    COTD is 10a for it’s simplicity.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  7. Another really good puzzle from Jay – just 20d that earned a black mark.
    Hard to choose a favourite but it’s probably either 14 or 16d.

    Thanks to Jay and to 2Ks – that sounds like a marvellous anniversary trip that you’re planning.

  8. I thought that this one was reasonably straightforward, excepting the S.E. corner, where I convinced myself that 24a must finish with a ‘y’. 8d was the definite favourite – rather cleverly constructed, very amusing. 11a was an interesting one, from the viewpoint that anyone entering into that particular form of street entertainment these days might find themselves falling foul of the Big Ben Syndrome (to quote a newly invented colloquialism)! Perhaps 2**?

  9. After a busy and somewhat stressful day ‘deep in the heart of Texas,’ I am not sure how long this took to complete. It was certainly on the tricky side but most enjoyable, although I have to agree with Lady Jane and Beaver on 20d – ***/****.

    It was good to see 19a again after quite a long absence (I think); but my favourite is 2d with 16d a close second.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks (enjoy your next expedition).

  10. I was either particularly wide-awake this morning or just on the right wave-lenght today as I thought this was less tricky than Jay usually is.
    I found the bottom half more difficult than the top.
    Not many anagrams and three lurkers.
    I’ve never heard of 20d but I suppose it makes sense and it is in the BRB and I had a spot of bother trying to make 26d mean a book.
    I liked the whole crossword specially the 1/12a pair and 30a and 2 and 16d. My favourite was 7d.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s – it sounds as if you’re going to have an exciting trip in October.

  11. Quite challenging today. Two new words for me- 28a and 20d. 21d was my last one in. Favourite clues were 16d and 24a.

  12. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but very difficult. Needed the hints for 21a&d and 28a & 14d. Jay definitely won this tussle, I missed a lurker and couldn’t get 14d despite only having 3 unchecked squares! I didn’t know Carlo was Italian for Charles, and 28a was a new word for me, even though I got it from the wordplay. Lots of good clues. Favourite was 27a because of such good misdirection. Was 4*/4* for me.

  13. What an excellent puzzle that was, unlike Brian I don’t feel a sense of punishment when the standard is trickier than normal, especially not one as well clued as this. Did anyone else spot that, apart from four black squares changing colour, the grid was identical to yesterday?

    Much to admire and enjoy, my top three clues were 15a, 8d and 9d. It’s often a sign of a good puzzle when there is a wide range of nominated favourites.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  14. I don’t know why but I had a good run at this. The clues unpicked themselves before my eyes and the answers came quite quickly and pleasingly. Until I hit the SE corner! I had to come here for two that were beyond my brain’s range: 21a and 18d. Overall good fun and much to admire. Applause for 1a, 17a, 19a, 30a, 8d, and 21d. My favourite was the little bit lovely 10a.

  15. Found this quite tricky and turned to the crossword dictionary for help with the last few. I particularly liked 9d, 14d, and 24a. Thanks to Jay to for the fun and to the Kiwis for a fine blog.

  16. Way beyond me today, but plead extremely tiring day yesterday. Supertoy and 2Kiwis to the rescue. Thanks also to setter who often defeats me but I struggle on.

  17. This was decidedly tricky for me, I needed electronic help for quite a few.
    Never heard of 20d and bunged in emailer knowing it had to be wrong.
    I struggled with 28a, but in retrospect I feel we’ve had it before.
    Lots to like, 9d amused bigly, but I think fave is 10a for it’s brevity.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2Kiwis for the entertaining blog. Your trip sounds so good.

  18. Boy, that was a struggle. I ran aground in the SE corner, principally because of Carlo and the online seller.
    The rest was good fun, challenging, but fair.
    For some reason, I could not get 12a, even with all the checking letters and the ‘ing’ at the end.
    Thanks to all.

  19. Tough for a Wednesday, well it was for me anyway! I eventually solved it. I hadn’t heard of that fruit description before. I’ll take 9d as my favourite; probably because the first bit was uttered on occasion whilst solving. 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to Jay, and to the 2Ks. I am not envious of you going to India. Not much. I lie….

  20. Still haven’t finished yet. Too difficult. Never heard of 28a, but it’s good to learn new words. I am out for dinner with girlfriends tonight , so I’m not committing to completing this one. You never know, maybe a glass of red wine might help the old brain cells later on. Thank you 2ks and setter.

  21. Writing e-vender in 20d did slow me down a tad but soon realised my silly mistake.
    Another coincidence in 12a as it appears in the toughie too.
    1a helped me get 12a.
    18d new word for me.
    28a favourite. I just love desserts.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2ks for the review.

    1. Hi Jean-Luc, don’t know if you saw my message yesterday. Sorry we did not come to say good bye before returning to Sussex for the summer and beyond. Will to be back to Hyères before November as flying to US from here in October for a Great Rail discovery of the West Coast. Hope you are fine, we are here. See you in November!

      1. I left a message on your French mobile last month and assumed you were back in England. Have a great time in the states.

  22. SE corner held me up too. There were a few clues I wasn’t keen on. Very rare, Mr Mutch is usually one of my favourite setters.
    Many thanks to Jay and to 2Ks for the review. ***/**

  23. I thought I was being clever and put OILSLICK in as answer for 24a. I think it just about fits the clue – it’s a mainly (in the sea) scary liquid after all and OILS = paints and LICK = defeat Anyway, it meant 20d and 21d were never going to be solved. Ho hum. Never heard of 28a. Learning all the time.

  24. Thanks to Jay for stretching my brain, and lots of thanks to 2Kiwis for helping me finish it. Never heard of the fruit term in 28a, my education obviously sadly neglected, and 9d was last in. Favourite was 2d. These have disappeared from our City, and neighboring areas in recent years as less and less people buy actual newspapers, ourselves included. Well our local paper was a waste of newsprint so not missed. Happy travels to 2Kiwis, sounds like quite a trip.

  25. Morning all.
    It seems we were not the only ones to have found some challenges with this one.
    Nice to report that we have had no rain for the last few days. Instead it has been clear calm and frosty and looks like our Thursday, when the sun rises in an hour or so, is following the same pattern. Enjoy what is left of your Wednesday.

  26. A bit of a struggle for me today – could not really concentrate fully as Wednesday morning is my busy morning working in Chestnut Tree Charity Shop. Needed help with a few clues. Never heard of 10a, 20d and 28a. Missed the lurker in 29a. Definitely 3* for me with 3* for enjoyment. A huge thank you to the 2Kiwis for the review I badly needed and to Jay in spite of not doing justice to his great puzzle!

    1. Bart the hint probably should have pointed you towards the answer to 12a which is a synonym of 1a.

    2. Contagious diseases are catching. Silly me got 1a but forgot the connection when I got to 12a so that took me longer than it should

  27. Into *** for difficulty here too, though without getting particularly held up in any one place. By chance, 16d was clued in a (loosely) similar manner in today’s recycled i cryptic. 28ac I was surprised to find was actually correct.

  28. 28a (which l had correctly guessed at but never heard of) put me just into 2* time. I liked 21a particularly. Thanks to Jay for a decent workout, and to the 2 Kiwis for the review.

  29. Not familiar with 20d and 28a but solvable without assistance. Like many others SE was last to fall. 28a was the last which was easy once I had 18d which involved going through the alphabet. Very enjoyable. I did not find it as challenging as some of Jay’s. Favourites 11 and 19a and 2 and 9d. Thanks J and 2Ks. Needed to check the parsing of 21a

  30. Thankyou for21d, only one I tried to cheat on, looked at atlas for 5mins before penny dropped. Ta to all

  31. As usual we get ours late over here but my favourite was 2 down, NEWSAGENT with its use of “rag”.

  32. 2Kiwis…India is a fabulous country. If you can, try and get to the Taj Mahal early (5am or before) to watch the colours as the sun comes up. Truly magical.

    Many thanks for all your crossword hints…and to all the other ‘solvers’ as well.

    1. Welcome to the blog Roger.
      That sounds like very good advice. We’ll try to organise that to happen.

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