DT 28525 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28525

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28525

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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


Kia ora from Aotearoa.
             We’re back to a team of two for this week’s Jay puzzle.
Spring has officially started here but we do need the calendar to tell us that as it still feels decidedly wintry on many days lately.
A number of clues that needed some thinking about with this one which stretched the solving time a little for us.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     A day off? Yes and no! (6)
SICKIE : An informal word originating in our part of the world, for when being unwell is given to the boss as a reason for not being at work. (We think that ‘yes and yes’ would also have worked here.)

4a     Model European member of parliament left in gallery (8)
TEMPLATE : The abbreviations for European, a member of parliament and left, are all inside a gallery on the Thames South Bank.

9a     Bob is short, and scarcely lacking heart (6)
CURTSY : A word for short or peremptory and then the first and last letters (lacking heart) of scarcely.

10a     Judgment of relations enveloped in obsession (8)
THINKING : A word for relations generally is inside an obsession or particular fad.

12a     A new editor’s rock (8)
ASTEROID : ‘A’ from the clue and an anagram (new) of EDITORS.

13a    Disappear — like a commercial vehicle? (6)
VANISH : Resembling a type of commercial vehicle often used for deliveries.

15a     Like-minded individual, loving wine and whisky, say (7,6)
KINDRED SPIRIT : A word for loving or generous, then a type of wine identified by its colour and the sort of drink of which whisky is an example.

18a     Promote boss’s best products? (6,7)
MARKET LEADERS : Promote or subject to a sales campaign, then a boss or manager and the ‘s from the clue.

20a     Bolt wears little sleeveless tunic (6)
TABARD : A bolt or rod for securing is surrounded by a short word for a little.

22a     Local area parasite must drink meths regularly (8)
ALEHOUSE : The abbreviation for area and a parasitic insect surround the second and fourth letters of ‘meths’.

24a     Set off alongside dense woods (8)
THICKETS : An anagram (off) of SET follows a word meaning dense.

25a     Represents good person joining staff in recession (6)
ENACTS : The abbreviation for a good or pious person and then a flexible staff or rod all gets reversed (in recession).

26a     Cutting last of remarks before trial (8)
SHEARING : The last letter of remarks and a trial in a court of law.

27a     Comments from assistants besieging head of security (6)
ASIDES : The first letter of security is inside a word for assistants.


1d     Community also developed outside Channel Islands (6)
SOCIAL :  Community here is an adjective. The abbreviation for the Channel Islands is inside an anagram (developed) of ALSO.

2d     Temporary manager‘s oddly keen in frantic rat race (9)
CARETAKER : The first and third letters of keen are inside an anagram (frantic) of RAT RACE.

3d     Cool African party breaking into safe with poorer person providing cover (9,6)
INSURANCE BROKER : A word for cool or trendy, then the African party of Nelson Mandela is inside a synonym for safe or definite, and then a word meaning poorer or having less money.

5d     Ring back? (4)
ECHO :  Nothing to do with telephones. A cryptic description of a sound that gets returned to you.

6d     Tipsy UK penpal pinches food found in tins (9,6)

7d     A politician once needing independent defence in law (5)
ALIBI : ‘A’ from the clue, then the abbreviation for a political party that was dissolved in 1988 and finally the abbreviation for independent.

8d     Ingredient of meringue, for example, with weight adjusted (3,5)
EGG WHITE : The two letters that mean for example and an anagram (adjusted) of WEIGHT.

11d     Smile in confusion about sport and poor governance (7)
MISRULE : The abbreviation for New Zealand’s national game are inside an anagram (in confusion) of SMILE.

14d     In the best case, island truly needs to replace leader with daughter (7)
IDEALLY : The one letter abbreviation for island and then a word meaning truly has its first letter replaced by the abbreviation for daughter.

16d     Provided support, but surly about cutting grass (9)
RESOURCED : A word for surly or sullen and the one letter meaning about or approximately are inside a hollow-stemmed grass.

17d     Reclaim it at establishment admitting copies (8)
IMITATES : Our only lurker of the day, hiding in the first four words of the clue.

19d     Safest going out for meals? (6)
FEASTS : An anagram (going out) of SAFEST.

21d     Green stuff produced in tidal inlets, reportedly (5)
BAIZE : ‘Reportedly’ tells us that we need to find an answer that sounds like a word for tidal inlets.

23d     Floor enthusiasts given a lift (4)
STUN : An informal word for enthusiasts is reversed (given a lift in a down clue).

3d is our favourite today. Initially we got a bit held up here by trying to justify a different second word in the answer.

Quickie pun    thus    +    more    +     lours    =     the small hours

56 comments on “DT 28525

  1. A puzzle of two halves for me. The top half was a write-in and the bottom half took significantly longer to complete.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis ***/****

  2. 2*/5*. I found this at the easier end of Jay’s spectrum but he manages to keep up his consistent level of excellence!

    I had a couple of false starts with 1a. I started off by wondering if Friday could be considered as (sort of) one day off from Wednesday but not generally a day off (work). Then, after getting 1d, I changed it to Sunday which is not one day off from today but quite often is a day off (work). Finally the penny dropped!

    Once again we are spoilt for choice of favourite but today that title has to be awarded to 15a.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  3. Early this morning – a very nice puzzle, I got held up by 1a and 11 and my anagram program didn’t find 6d so I had to resort to pen and paper again.

    Great fun – very enjoyable and a real feeling of achievement!

    Girding my loins to go and attack the garden – looks like this will be the only dry day this week!

  4. This one took a little longer than last week’s Jay but still very enjoyable and completed at a canter – **/****.

    Joint favourites – 1a and 21d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  5. Unlike RD at #2 I did not find this quite so easy, but the relative struggle certainly enhanced the enjoyment, so 3*/5* for me. Picking a favourite from so many well-crafted clues is difficult, but I will go for 17d as an excellent example of a lurker.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

  6. Good fun whilst also being slightly testing. Needed help from 2 Ks to parse 16d. 13a Fav for its lol moment 🙂. Thank you Jay and both Ks. Love the Quickie pun which took a bit of outloud repetition.

  7. Started off very well, then slowed right down. Wasn’t confident enough to put 25a in and got stuck on 16d – kept trying to put the letters from surly in the word somehow. Needed a hint for that one! First time I’ve needed a hint for some time – so thanks you Kiwis. Good deception, Jay (well – deceived me, anyway.). . ***/****. I liked 20 and 22a, but I’d better go for 16d since it defeated me!

  8. The usual good fun Wednesday crossword.
    I got to the end of the across clues and was just thinking that this was going to be a day of very few anagrams and then they all arrived in the down clues.
    I had 21d completely wrong – I knew it was wrong but couldn’t think of anything else that would fit, the moral here being if you don’t understand your answer it’s wrong.
    Lots and lots of really good clues but specially 3 and 16d and my joint favourites (because I absolutely can’t decide which) are 13 and 15a.
    I really liked the Quickie pun.
    Thanks to Jay and to the Kiwis.
    The Toughie’s good too – haven’t quite finished it yet so will go back to it a bit later.

  9. Can’t believe that no-one else seems to loathe the ‘word’ at 1a – ah well, tempus fugit and all that!
    I left out the second word of 3d until some checkers were in place but no problems beyond that.

    Thought 17d was cleverly hidden but the final podium places went to 13,15,18&24a plus 21d.

    Many thanks to Jay for the enjoyable puzzle and to 2Ks for the review. Noble of you to accept your nation’s responsibility for coining 1a!

    PS I’ll second Kath’s comment about the Micawber Toughie – well worth the effort.

      1. Thought someone might bring that one up. Said podium is large enough to hold all the medal winners from a 4×4 relay race so I actually still had places to spare!

      1. My Mum always said if you claimed you were sick when you weren’t it was tempting fate, and you would be… probably why I hardly ever called in for a sick day.

    1. Jane, we suspect that the word in 1a comes from Oz rather than NZ . It seems to be their wont to add an IE to lots of words.

      1. Over here To throw a sickie is to take time off when perfectly healthy by lying and deceiving your employer. Not something I have ever done. On your side of the world it may describe an honest day off due to ill health

  10. I thought that this one was easy enough for the most part – but my last three answers probably took at least as long as all the rest put together (in fact, I didn’t get 1a at all, other than to imagine that the word ‘sick’ might be in there somewhere). The quick portion was very much influenced by employment of a ‘spot-the-ball’ approach – ie – pulling out answers largely from the presumed target, rather than by building from the structure of the clue. 21d was last in – I had not come across this word before, but managed to work it out from the clue, with just a teensy bit of help from the BRB.

  11. Had to work at this for a while but once 3d and 6d went in it became easier. Learned a few things too. I have always spelt 9a with an e as the penultimate letter. I did not know that 25a was synonymous with represents or that 16d could be used interchangeably with providing support. 15a was my top clue too.

    1. There was a typo in your email address which sent your comment into moderation – I’ve corrected it for you.

  12. Trickier than yesterday but nothing to delay our journey. Unlike dinner with Saint Sharon’s real Mum and stepfather. Grinning and bearing it.

  13. I made very heavy weather of this , especially the lower half. 21d got me too and several others.
    There was and is something on my mind throughout the day . I’m wondering if I write and post that letter , will my mind let the whole matter go and let me focus on the matter soon to be at hand , the Toughie.All I can add is never meet your idols , it is so disappointing when one realises how petty minded they are.
    Thanks to Jay and our NZ friends.
    15a is my favourite.

  14. I wasn’t a fan of 1ac – I still don’t think I see where the ‘day’ comes in. I hadn’t heard of either term in 20ac or 21d which was unfortunate since they intersected! In general I found this decidedly on the tricky side. Many thanks to all.

  15. I found the SW corner tricky, mainly because I put the wrong answer for the second word at 3d. This meant I didn’t solve a few, even though I got 17d. Surely, anyone with half a brain would suspect an error and revisit the clue?
    Apart from that, enjoyed it a lot. Fave was 15a, natch, got lots on hand, just in case!
    Thanks to Jay, and to the 2Kiwis for helping me finish this brain twister.

    1. I didn’t catch the lurker in 17d, duh. Still bringing in my potted plants, obviously have too many. Irma seems to be swerving to the right, hope it keeps on that way. We did find our old English wellies up in the attic this morning, so have dusted them off, but hope we don’t need them. Never had a really wet Hurricane like Harvey, poor Texas, Stay safe Merusa.

      1. The real problem is that Houston was built on a flood plain, not a problem we have here. However, 52 inches of rain is excessive anywhere and I think it would have to flood. I don”t bring all my plants in, where would I put them? Too many. I do bring in the smaller ones that are easily portable, the others go into a corner tucked away.

        Don’t be too fooled by the jog to the right, this thing is so large, it’ll cover the whole state of Florida, but it might make the impact a little less calamitous, all things are relative. I can’t find a radio that works but I found a CD player so that I can listen to audiobooks. I might be able to juice up my Kindle in the car. Good luck to you, at least we’re away from the coast. My shutters are up and it;s like the black hole of Calcutta

  16. Slightly trickier than the norm, but brilliant as usual. How does he do it..?
    Lots of penny-drop moments – must be about 20p down there by now.
    Too many likes to list, so I will simply thank Mr Much very much, and of course thanks to 2Ks

  17. We have deserted the Times quickie and now testing our skills here.
    Finding it hard going but have finished most of them even the prize one on Saturday.
    Your blog is really helpful. Many thanks to all.

  18. Got beaten by 20a and 21d. Still can’t parse 20a even with the hint.
    Disappointed by 3d for the use of breaking in the clue and broker as the answer. Actually wrote assurance for the first word until I realised 1d and 1a were the same words in my grid
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.
    Not much weather talk at the moment. Still hasn’t rained down here for the 4th month running. We lost 460,hectares to fire over the weekend between Hyères and La Londe.

    1. Hi JLC – Bolt = bar (as in bolt the door), wears = is surrounded by, little = tad
      I always want to spell it with two Bs
      Hopefully rain is on the way soon

  19. ***/**** for me, too, but did no-one else of a certain age sigh wistfully when solving 6d ? A favourite pud for many of us in the good old days surely ? Does anybody truly eat such things from tins any more, though ? And with evaporated milk ?!
    Mind you, my great-aunt did have a parrot who excitedly shouted “Polly wants ! Polly wants!” as soon as she heard the tin-opener’s metallic grind at Sunday teatimes so that’s probably the cause of my nostalgia.
    Other fav was 15a . Struggled for ages with 14d.

    1. Oh yes – and I remember when Mum went ‘posh’ and started getting the rings instead! As for the evap’ – I bought some again recently for a specific recipe. My word, it tasted awful on its own – hard to believe that we loved it so much back in the day.

      1. We always had evap on tinned fruit, and we made cocoa with it also, mixing the powder to a paste before adding hot water. Actually that was my Sunday morning chore, for the family’s elevenses.

      2. We didn’t have access to cow’s milk growing up so we always had evap. I still like the taste of it but not in tea, ugh.

  20. My comments 5d the first line of LBR’s contribution. Excellent.

    Favourites for me were 13a, 15a and 20a.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    P.S. Unless my eyes are deceiving me, really love the slightly different font in evidence today, it has a clearer appearance somehow.

    1. You must have been to specsavers – I haven’t noticed a difference – maybe I should try cleaning mine.

  21. Another nice crossword! Slightly trickier than earlier in the week😬 I too would need an oversize podium 🤔 So my choice as 18a is 15a 🏆 and 20a running up 🤗 As ever big thanks to the 2 x Ks and to Jay

  22. Morning all.
    The weather forecaster on the radio has just said, “a wet and windy one right throughout the country”. We even have the rumble of distant thunder to accompany our breakfast. It is a pity we can’t send some of this rain to Jean-Luc. Looks like we will be having another inside day enjoying the crosswords.

  23. As said by many, trickier than usual. A good crossword once again from Mr Much and great fun to solve. 21d and 15a floated my boat with the former being favourite. 3/4* overall.
    Thanks to Jay, and to the 2x K’s for their review.

  24. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, that I found very tricky. Needed the hints for 1,9,20a&21d. Would never have thought of any of them. Favourite was 13a. Was 4*/4* for me.

  25. Some really clever clues in this one from Jay, but I needed several of the 2Kiwis hints to finish, thank you lots. Don’t really understand 10a. Still I did better than usual for a ***, so not too bad.

    1. Hello BL – 10a: obsession = thing as in ‘your thing’, enveloped = surrounds, family = kin

  26. Really enjoyed this one. Entertaining with a nice mixture of clue types.

    Many favourites but top ones for me were 3d (for complexity), 22a and 1a. With 1a I initially struggled to see how the penultimate letter could be “I” and it made me smile when I finally twigged the answer.

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