DT 28514 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28514

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28514

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa where the summer has been a mixed bag but generally cooler and wetter than normal. On Monday, we witnessed a partial eclipse of the sun. What I found almost as remarkable as the performance put on by the sun and the moon was it being the first day this summer that I can remember where there was not a cloud in the sky.

Today’s puzzle is clearly a RayT creation. While light on anagrams and heavy on lego clues, it is on the easier end of his spectrum and I don’t expect it to give anyone much trouble.

The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers can be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons (so avoid clicking on them unless you really want to see the answer).

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.


1a   Met with certain changes making payment (10)
REMITTANCE — an anagram (changes) of MET and (with) CERTAIN

6a   Destruction of atmosphere reversed (4)
DOOM — a reversal of the general impression one gets of a place

9a   Old man’s grateful expression seeing dish (5)
PASTA — a common term for father (together with the ‘s) followed by a concise expression of gratitude

10a   Concerned about sweetheart dressing down (9)
CARPETING — another word for concerned or sympathetic embracing a term of endearment

12a   Copy of Queen record left around including single (7)
REPLICA — start with a string of abbreviations, namely the Latin one for Queen, that of a rather shortish phonograph record, L(eft), and a rather longish Latin one for about; then insert the Roman numeral for one

13a   Birds giving performances for audience (5)
TERNS — these sea-birds sound like stage performances

15a   Stone jar with popular content from the East (7)
GRANITE — the usual suspect for popular is reversed (from the East) inside a word meaning to jar or make a harsh sound

17a   Snake is supple wearing skin of silver (7)
SLITHER — a synonym for supple or flexible dons the outer letters (skin) of S(ilve)R

19a   Rougher sailor twisting knot faces resistance (7)
RATTIER — a charade of a reversal (twisting) of one of the usual sailors, a verb meaning to fasten with a string and R(esistance)

21a   Offensive, like sailor embracing superior (7)
ASSAULT — place another word for like or in the same way that before another one of the usual sailors who finds himself wrapped around the usual letter denoting superior or posh

22a   Space accommodating usually naked aficionados initially (5)
SAUNA — the initial letters of the first five words in the clue provide a cheeky definition of a place to get hot and sweaty

24a   See old church is in decline (7)
DIOCESE — place an abbreviated and contracted version of “old Church (of England) is” inside a verb meaning to decline (with finality)

27a   One can time railway route (9)
ITINERARY — a Roman one, a can from the supermarket shelf, a distinct period in history, and a short R(ailwa)Y

28a   Stone in front of arched door (5)
AGATE — the initial letter (front) of Arched followed by a door (in a castle wall, perhaps)

29a   Reportedly recognises smell (4)
NOSE — a wine’s bouquet sounds like recognises or is able to identify (someone)

30a   Vote about loud European split faces empty ultimatum (10)
REFERENDUM — a short term for about or concerning, an abbreviated musical direction denoting loud, E(uropean), a synonym for split or tear, and the outer letters of U(ltimatu)M


1d   Artist performs without heart and sings? (4)
RAPS — start with the usual short artist and follow with the outer letters of P(erform)S

2d   Crime’s unravelled by Arnott oddly finding criminal (9)
MISCREANT — an anagram (unravelled) of CRIMES and the odd letters of ArNoTt

3d   Slope takes time on hike (5)
TRAMP — an inclined surface carries (takes … on) T(ime)

4d   Vault this compiler has for old records (7)
ARCHIVE — architecturally what a vault constitutes is followed by how the setter of the puzzle would contractually denote ownership

5d   Motor about to be put on ship’s framework (7)
CARCASS — the vehicle colloquially known as a motor and the Latin abbreviation for about or approximately ride atop the usual abbreviated ship

7d   Willow is comparatively blooming having been polled (5)
OSIER — remove the top (initial letter) from an adjective denoting more blooming or healthier; poll means to cut the tip off (a tree)

8d   Judge artist performing in silly game (10)
MAGISTRATE — an anagram (performing) of ARTIST inside an anagram (silly) of GAME

11d   Guards missing first openings (7)
ENTRIES — remove the initial letter from another term for those who stand guard

14d   Unruly gang rises accepting zero violence (10)
AGGRESSION — an anagram (unruly) of GANG RISES containing the letter that resembles a zero

16d   Some proclaim it a terrible copy (7)
IMITATE — our first lurker can be found hiding in the four words forming the core of the clue

18d   Mother involved in hideous revolting ‘domestic‘ (9)
HOUSEMAID — a common term for mother (whose mate makes an appearance in 9a) in an anagram (revolting) of HIDEOUS

20d   Value securing help lifting beam (7)
RADIATE — a verb meaning to give a value to something containing a reversal (lifting in a down clue) of a synonym for help or assist

21d   Neutral element deny Donald’s holding back (7)
ANODYNE — this somewhat dull second lurker is not likely to cause offence while hiding (holding) and reversed (back) in the two words in the middle of the clue

23d   Items from Sun, beginning to end about sex (5)
UNITS — start with SUN, move the initial letter to the end and wrap the result around a colloquial term for sex appeal or sexual intercourse

25d   Cancel Times before end of issue (5)
ERASE — the historical period from 27a returns with some cronies to stand before the final letter (end) of issuE

26d   Periodically they arm squad (4)
TEAM — a regular (periodic) sequence of letters from ThEy ArM

I find it difficult to single out any clues for special mention, but will go with 30a for the timeliness of the political commentary, 21d for the unlikely image of “the Donald” holding back and not giving offence, and 23d in memory of the displaced Page 3 girls.

Quickie Pun:  CURDLE   +   AEON   =   COEUR DE LION

84 comments on “DT 28514

  1. Perfect. Just the right amount of stretch, lots of aha moments and no deja vu!

  2. What a joy to have you there bright and early Falcon even if I had in fact just managed on my Jack Jones. Another misleading first impression for something which turned out to be a pleasant walk in the park. So many excellent clues and surfaces. Fav 15a. Many thanks RAyT and Falcon.

  3. Nice to be bright and early pre dog walking, I found this quite tricky in places with a lot of head scratching moments. I got a bit hung up a bit on 17a and 10a.
    Thanks to Falcon and RayT.

  4. Having read the clues twice, today looks like the usual Ray-T Thursday to go and do the cryptic crossword in the Guardian as this is miles over my pay grade.
    Look forward to reading the hints later.

      1. Falcon’s great set of hints having been perused, but I have absolutely no idea why I cannot do Ray-T’s crosswords, but something does not chime, Merusa.
        I read through all the clues twice and could not get one answer, at which point I decided to do today’s Guardian crossword by Paul, which is great.

    1. Oh no – you just need to get onto his wave-length or into his head – he’s a truly amazing setter.
      I do the hints for lots of his crosswords so I’ve had lots of experience – I love his crosswords.

      1. Yes Kath, it’s very frustrating. I tend to finish the crossword most days, but I genuinely could not get one answer today.
        As you say, it’s a wavelength thing, and I am miles off. The Guardian crossword was very good though by way of a consolation.

  5. Quirky, but satisfying to solve. No real favourites. Falcon, I notice the quickie pun isn’t up yet? Many thanks to all.

  6. Completed at a gallop, which for me and a Ray T is unusual, and most enjoyable – 1.5*/4*.

    Favourite – 30a – I enjoyed the 5-element charade.

    Thanks to Ray T and Falcon, especially for the posting early, I’ve got a plane to catch.

  7. I agree with Senf on 1.5*/4*. Great fun as always from this setter.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Falcon, particularly for clarification of the wordplay for 24a as I completed missed where the “s” came from.

  8. Hi Falcon although I have ‘diocese’ for 24 across, I can’t see how it works because if you put’ ioces’ you are left with de and not die??????

    1. Hi, Mary. Falcon’s probably in bed at the moment.
      It’s just OCES that you have to insert, i.e. O(ld) and CE’S (church is).

      1. Ah thanks Gazza, crafty one that!!! Long time no speak … helpful as ever, hope all is well in your world :-)

    2. Mary, I was puzzled by that too. But having read Falcon’s review I realised that O (= old) CE (= church) ‘S (= is).

      1. Yea, RayT being crafty there RD!! I was surprised no one else had commented, obviously all brighter than me! lol

  9. Usual excellence from Ray T. Nice mix of clues. Not too tricky. I got held up by bunging RATS in to 1d which I think also works. Wonder if anyone else did this? 30a made me smile.

          1. You have got me on that one, but I am 7 hours into a 13+ hour journey – San Antonio to Winnipeg (presently enjoying lounge hospitality at Chicago O’Hare).

  10. It being a Ray T Thursday and therefore probably more of a wavelength thing than usual, I found this a tad more awkward than some earlier commenters, but still enjoyable and satisfying to solve, so 3*/4* for me. No standout favourite, but an honourable mention goes to 15a.

    Many thanks to Ray and to Falcon.

  11. 1.5*/3*
    I was (unusually) on RayT’s wavelength this morning and managed this at a canter on an early MAD-LHR.

    I needed the blog to confirm where the “s” in 24a had come from.

    Thanks to RayT and to Falcon for this morning’s offerings.

  12. Thanks to Ray T and to Falcon for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, great surfaces, and a few stretched synonyms to make you think. Low anagram count. I was amused by 20d, Ray T often uses his alter ego in a clue. Last in was 10a which had good misdirection, I was thinking ca=about & sweetheart =e, but it wasn’t. Favourite was 17a, great surface, and the answer being a verb, superb! Was 2*/4* for me.

  13. Luverly stuff – but then I wouldn’t say anything else, would I!
    Only a couple of holdups – wanting to put ‘rats’ in 1d and hesitating over the synonym in 28a. Plain sailing elsewhere.

    Despite it being obvious, 22a gets my vote for the apt surface read.

    Devotions to Mr. T and many thanks to Falcon for the review – nice pic of the elegant 13a’s.

    1. I too put rats at first.

      Thank you for kind comment about our aging cat Rupert, home and doing well, per my post further down 🐱

  14. Apart from thinking I was doing tomorrow’s crossword and not today’s I found this fairly straightforward. 10a was my last entry; on the i-pad the line break made me misread the clue somewhat but once the penny dropped it was my fave. 2/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Ray T, and also Falcon for the review.

  15. Firstly going to agree with Falcon’s **/***, not as difficult as yesterdays puzzle or quite as enjoyable.
    Thought the cluing for 24a was clumsy and although I put the correct solution in for 19a, I did not think it meant ‘ rougher’.
    no doubt it does in some reference book.
    The rest was fine, liked the surface of 7d, and it was my favourite clue.
    Went to Chemlyn Bay ,Anglesey to see some 13a last week !.

  16. Enjoyed the reference to the TV show ‘Line Of Duty’ in 2d. Only able to grab a quick lunch at work but got through about 2/3 before succumbing to some assistance

    1. Did not twig the reference to Line of Duty when doing the puzzle, although I have watched the TV programme.
      Liked the picture in the hints to 29A.

  17. Did not get much at first glance but once I got going I managed to complete fairly quickly. Like Beaver I too did not think rougher was synonymous with 19a. 21a aside I did not find any clue that grabbed my attention.

  18. Very enjoyable and great fun, even if my repetition radar did emit one loud bleep and one small bleep during the solve.

    Favourite clues were 10a, 21a and 23d. Nice to see all the familiar trademarks in evidence as usual.

    Many thanks to Mr Terrell and to Falcon.

    P.S. Clearly most solvers either don’t mind or don’t notice, but personally I was disappointed to see the same grid now used on three successive days, save for a minor difference yesterday. One would have imagined that those at Telegraph Towers would try to avoid such eventualities, if only to offer variety to their solvers, but that doesn’t seem to be the case unfortunately.

  19. I think that I would give this one a **/***** score – no real difficulty encountered in solving and certainly strong in terms of entertainment. The setter has a penchant for cleverly disguised ‘lurkers’ (viz: 16d) – and of course, for concocting highly amusing innuendo styled clues! Favourite 9a – clever construction plus high on the giggle count.

    1. The usual high standard enjoyment from Mr RayT. Full marks all round. My Grandson Harrison has been riding his bike around at 100mph which was bound to end in tears and so it did. He is recovering with me on the settee which has given me a chance to solve Paul’s puzzle in today’s Grauniad which I can highly recommend. The grazed elbow is being soothed with a gingerbread man and an apple.

      1. Oh dear, poor Harrison! I hope the treats soon cure the hurt and he’s up on his bike again soon.

  20. A long car journey (not one of my favourite things at the best of times) did at least give me a chance to do a few puzzles. Having been away from puzzles for a while, I had lost track of where in the Thursday rotation we are but RayT’s signatures showed up nice and clearly.

    There are not, in general, many smiles to be had when clawing at the bars of the cat carrier wanting to escape, but this was a much more enjoyable thing to get my teeth into.

    I’ll nominate 10a as favourite. RayT stepping out with a different sweetheart!

    Thanks to RayT, to Falcon, and also to the early commenters for non-spoilery comments. (I usually check the comments feed for the blog in the mornings, often before having looked at the day’s puzzles so an early blog can wrong-paw me.)

  21. Lovely puzzle – but I do have one teeny query for Falcon.
    7d hint: I can only find ‘polled’ meaning clipped, usually an animal’s horns (Collins, BBB). To clip a tree, is ‘pollard’. BRB, anyone?
    Many thanks to RayT and to Falcon for the review. **/*** and a bit.

    1. Hi LBR,

      “Poll” is in the BRB for “to cut the top (of a tree)”. I must admit, I was doubtful too until I looked it up!

  22. Enjoyable solve as ever from RayT but definitely on the gentle side.

    Thanks to Falcon and RayT */****

  23. Definitely a RayT so, naturally, I had to work pretty hard to solve, but, by some miracle, solve I did. Full disclosure, with substantial electronic help.
    My fave was 21d based on the reason Falcon gave, I had a huge guffaw.
    Thanks to RayT and to Falcon for his fun blog.

    1. Thanks for earlier kind message about our cat Rupert. Home and doing good now. See my post further down 🙂

  24. The left side went in very quickly, and I was quite surprised it was a RayT week when I suddenly realised who the setter must be. Right side was a bit harder but I agree this week’s seems easier than his usual ones.
    It was a pleasant change to see what I think of as the usual two sailors on leave and a rare appearance of their briny substitute in 21a.
    Many thanks to Ray T and to Falcon.

  25. We were a little delayed by the different sweetheart but not for too long. All the usual fun we expect from a RayT puzzle and of course we checked the clue word count.
    Thanks RayT and Falcon.

  26. I wish I could claim to finding this easy but it was a ***/* for me, above my pay grade of sure. Sometimes I got the answer and then had to figure out how it satisfied the clue, going in backwards I guess. Never seen 10a as a verb. Thanks for the hints Falcon.

    Happy to report our almost 17 year old cat, Rupert, came home from the hospital yesterday, albeit with a laundry list of complaints. We just have to give him 7 pills a day for heart/high bp, insulin for diabetes and fluid infusions for his kidneys. And he has a detached retina. Surprisingly though he is back to his perky self and quite happy. As long as he takes his meds, stays happy and comfortable, we will keep playing nurse. Fingers crossed.

    1. Glad to hear that Rupert is happy and doing better. That’s a lot of work but he’s worth it!

  27. On the gentle side, ** for difficulty sounds right. Last in 28ac, where I couldn’t think of the door or the stone for about a fifth of the total solving time.

  28. Think it’s all been said – it’s a RayT – I loved it – I didn’t find it difficult mainly because I’m tuned in to doing alternate Thursday hints.
    I have to confess to being slightly thrown by the ‘sweetheart’ in 10a – sneaky or what? In a Ray T crossword that so often means an ‘E”.
    Similarly I got into a bit of trouble with 8d – the artist was the RA and I missed the anagram indicator but got there eventually.
    As always there were lots of good clues although slightly lacking, I thought, in his usual innuendo – 27 and 30a.
    Thanks to Ray T and to Falcon for the hints and pics.

  29. Good evening everybody.

    Enjoyable start to the day. Is it me or have Mr T’s offerings been gentler of late?


  30. Perhaps it’s a sad indictment of me but as soon as I realise its a Ray T puzzle it goes in the bin. Clues are far too obscure and difficult abd gives me no enjoyment whatsoever.

      1. Well, it wasn’t really meant as a complaint – It’s hardly Ray Ts fault that I can’t fathom out how his mind works – Was meant more of an observation really

        I find you actual site very helpful and entertaining

    1. Hi KS – I have felt like that in the past about certain setters – however, perseverance can lead to some delightful D’oh! moments and revelations. Once you get the hang of his style, they are generally excellent puzzles – to be savoured.
      It’d be awfully dull if setters were all the same and one never faced a ‘wavelength’ challenge. Never surrender!

  31. Did the two previous days *** offerings but couldn’t do the NW corner of this one. 10 across was the problem because I was convinced concerned about sweetheart meant re around the middle of sweetheart.

  32. This was very good, as usual, from Mr T. Not his most difficult, but mostly excellent, concise and sublime clues – a very enjoyable solve! And, for me, best of the week so far. 3*/4*.

  33. I enjoyed this crossword and managed to get through it at a reasonable speed. I agree there were some nice clues. However, can someone please inform me who is Ray T? Every week there are loads of comments about Ray T. A lot more than about other compilers. I am really bemused by this. I have that strange feeling one has when it appears that everyone else knows about a famous person or significant event during a time when I must have suffered some sort of mental lapse. I even searched for Ray T on Google. I was presented with a list of crossword compilers under A, then under B, and so on (I was only allowed to advance one letter at a time). Excitedly, I eventually came to R. What a disappointment. No mention of Ray T! Now I think about it, perhaps he was under T. My suspicion is that Ray T is in fact Big Dave, or one of the people who write the hints to help us out, and it is a sort of in-joke. If anyone can enlighten me, I would be very grateful, and I promise not to bore you all with any further long-winded posts. However, perhaps I am not allowed to know, that I shall forever remain an outsider, and continue to live with that burning question in my mind; ‘Who is Ray T?’

    1. FAQ No 28 under the tab at the top will explain how we know about the regular setters

      As for Ray t – the site Best for Puzzles has this entry under the British Crossword Setters Who’s Who

      Ray TERRELL
      Ray Terrell lives in Paris, where he teaches English to French journalists and broadcasters. He sets crosswords for The Daily Telegraph (usually published on Thursdays) and – as Beam – he sets Toughie crosswords in the same newspaper.

      1. Thank you very much, crypticsue. I had not noticed this in he FAQs. It is interesting to know about the compilers. I remember reading various interviews in the past with Brian Greer, Roger Squires, etc,

    1. Hi Sheila,
      If you hover your ‘mouse’ over the picture you will learn that they are Elegant Terns.

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