DT 28531 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28531

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28531

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***


Kia ora from Aotearoa.
              We’ve had some rather large Spring tides over the last few days, so on our walk this morning we noticed the newly sculpted bases of the sandhills and the redistributed patterns of driftwood on the wide wave-swept beach. On the river section of the walk we met several dedicated whitebaiters standing in the cold water in their waist-high waders, hoping for a shoal of the elusive little delicacies to swim into their nets. Then back home to print out, solve and enjoy another clever Jay puzzle.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     ‘RIP’ mistakenly put by female icon or diva (5,5)
PRIMA DONNA : An anagram (mistakenly) of RIP is followed by either the Virgin Mary or a well known popular singer.

6a     Henry following daughter’s vegetarian recipe? (4)
DHAL : The abbreviation for daughter and a short nickname for Henry.
      Newspaper version    
          Vegetarian dish sees boy back outside hospital
          The abbreviation for hospital inside the reversal of a word for a boy.

10a     Come clean, either way (5)
LEVEL : The answer here is a palindrome.

11a     Keep quiet about new plot before king gets access to ship (9)
GANGPLANK : A three letter word meaning to keep quiet or muffle includes the abbreviation for new, then a synonym for plot or design and the chess designation for a king.

12a    Two vehicles sandwiching a third? (7)
CARAVAN : An all in one clue. To find the third vehicle sandwich ‘A’ from the clue between two other vehicles.

13a     Work is scheduled across Germany for the poorest city area (4,3)
SKID ROW : The IVR code for Germany is inside an anagram (scheduled) of WORK IS.

14a     Go over set of drawers for pantomime dame, perhaps (5-7)
CROSS-DRESSER : A word meaning go over, as you would a bridge, and then a set of drawers.

18a     How a free port must work to provide elementary protection? (12)
WEATHERPROOF : An anagram (must work) of HOW A FREE PORT.

21a     Trouble returns in so stormy a relationship (7)
LIAISON : A three letter word for trouble is reversed and followed by an anagram (stormy) of IN SO.

23a     Well-bred chap confronting devious character (7)
GENTEEL : A devious or slippery character follows a synonym for a chap or man.

24a     Shy type may be home and dry when dog’s collared (9)
INTROVERT : Start with the two letter word meaning at home, and then the archetypal dog’s name is inside the letters that denote a non-drinker.

25a     Such language skill must incorporate work (5)
ARGOT : A short word meaning work or operate is inside skill or craft.

26a     Ropes in blokes (4)
GUYS : Double definition. The ropes could be attached to a tent.

27a     A decent red fermenting, bang on target (4,6)
DEAD CENTRE : An anagram (fermenting) of A DECENT RED.


1d     Agents of the law quietly love bugs (6)
POLICE : The music symbol for quietly, then the tennis score love and some nasty often parasitic bugs.

2d    Reverse order, still welcoming victory (6)
INVERT : The abbreviation for victory is inside a word meaning still or not moving.

3d     In a chaotic state, crazily has to help welcoming mistress? (3,4,3,4)
ALL OVER THE SHOP : A mistress or paramour is found inside an anagram (crazily) of HAS TO HELP.

4d     Manager of revolutionary region as source of rumours (9)
ORGANISER : An anagram (revolutionary) of REGION AS and the first letter (source) of rumours.

5d     Numbers thrown out of station in Essex (5)
NINES : A lurker hiding in the last three words of the clue. (We didn’t need to use our UK geography knowledge after all.)

7d     Support Reds, playing in high temperature (8)
HEADREST : A word for high temperature includes an anagram (playing) of REDS.

8d     Cool book on fighting millions (8)
LUKEWARM : The book is a New Testament gospel, then large scale fighting and the abbreviation for millions.

9d     Sweet cupid needs a wok for cooking (6-4,4)
UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE: An anagram (for cooking) of CUPID NEEDS A WOK.

15d     Detracted from French staff outside entrance (9)
DEROGATED : The French word for ‘from’ and then a staff or stick includes an entrance to a field or yard perhaps.

16d     House flooding after start of deluge (8)
DWELLING : The first letter of deluge and then a word for flooding or surging up.

17d     Holiday worker left before end of day, without paying attention (8)
VACANTLY : A three letter informal word for a holiday, then a worker insect, the abbreviation for left and the last letter of day.

19d     Importance of women on crew (6)
WEIGHT : The abbreviation for women and a rowing crew.

20d     Bishop settled on that man being unconcerned (6)
BLITHE : The chess abbreviation for bishop and then a word meaning settled or landed and a personal pronoun for that man.

22d     French resort accommodating English relative (5)
NIECE : A French city on the Mediterranean includes the abbreviation for English.

We did seem to be writing the word anagram quite a lot but they are good ones so no complaints from us.

Quickie pun    carp    +    aid    +    yam    =    carpe diem  (seize the day)

70 comments on “DT 28531

  1. I do not see how letters 2-4 in 20d relate to “settled”.

    Maybe I am missing something obvious.

    Otherwise very enjoyable.

    Thanks to all concerned.

      1. Greetings to Winnlpeg.

        I am still being dense . I cannot see how lit can relate to either settled or landed. If you could release me from my burden I would be most grateful.

        Thanks in anticipation

        1. The BRB entry I referenced includes ‘to alight; to settle‘ from an Old English word ‘lihtan‘ – there is no indication in the BRB, but I think it might be (slightly) archaic.

  2. 24a my favourite in this pretty straightforward but, as ever, enjoyable Jay puzzle. Nicely clued as always. 2*/3.5* overall, with many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  3. Completed at a fast canter, helped by one or two oldies but goodies and recent repeats – **/****.

    I tried to make 14a an anagram, using ‘go over’ as the indicator.

    Favourite 11a.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  4. I struggled with the sw corner mainly because I put ‘casually’ in for 17d – after a bit of head scratching and a serious rethink I finally had a ‘eureka’ moment!

    Nice puzzle with a couple of cracking anagrams – very enjoyable!

  5. In the paper version the clue for 6a is “Vegetarian dish sees boy back outside hospital”.

    Both seem valid, I can’t see why they should differ.

    I used the word in 21a in a job interview when I were a young lad. Got asked if I could spell it. I could, she couldn’t. Still got the job though.

    **/** for me, COTD 9d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  6. Had a shocker with 19d, complete brain-breeze with the synonym for crew. No excuse offered!
    Otherwise a typically enjoyable Jay romp.
    25a was a new word for me, fav was 1a.
    Thanks to Jay and 2xK

  7. This was a bit of a hooligan just couldn’t get on Jays wavelength, nevertheless pretty enjoyable. It would have helped if I could have remembered how to spell 21a. No favourites today.
    Couldn’t blog yesterday as internet succumbed to the North Cornwall weather.
    Thanks to the 2ks and to Jay.

  8. Good afternoon everybody.

    Lovely puzzle today with a solid start and the perfect amount of headscratching to finish. Several nice clues but for some reason I particularly enjoyed 8d.


  9. Again a little tricky today with I thought some amusing surface reads likes 14a, 1a , and lots of my favourite charades.
    Hard to pick a favourite, probably 14a with 20d deserving a mention if only for the unusual-but perfectly valid-use of ‘lit’.
    Always a sign of an enjoyable crossword when peoples favourites are different.
    Going for 2.5 /3 *, thanks to 2K for the blog pics ,especially 1d,
    Failed to get the quickie pun today-very clever.

  10. A miserable , showery day was brightened up by this offering : thanks to the setter and the 2K,s .Didn’ t know argot and 17d eluded me . Vac hmmm !!! .Needed the hint for this ,last one in. ***/****

  11. Nothing troublesome today. The French painter yesterday and the French resort today seem to occur very frequently( Mr Kitty will know precisely how often). Several clues caught my eye today- 8d, 19d, 24a but I liked 11a the most.

  12. A very enjoyable and do-able bit of fun but not helped by my just bunging in ‘place’ as the last word of 3D, failing to notice there were only four spaces. As a result, having a P in the middle of 21 a didn’t help at all! A **/**** for me with COTD 24a. Many thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

  13. Solved on the shores of Loch Awe in perfect peace and tranquility. The last few clues were quite tricky and last one in 17d. With reference to 20d. From Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

    His head nodded, and little by little his chin descended and touched the enemy, who seized it. There was a sharp yelp, a flirt of the poodles head, and the beetle fell a couple of yards away and lit upon its back once more.

  14. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle as usual from Jay. It was quite on the gentle side, but a few clues caused me trouble. To ages to get 9d, I knew it was an anagram from the off, but only got it when the last checker went in from 25a. Both 16&17d were penny drop moments, the latter being the last in. My favourite was 14a. Was 2*/4* for me. Lovely morning in Central London, but the showers have set in now.

  15. Perhaps slightly trickier than average for a Wednesday puzzle, but I wouldn’t have thought regular Jay solvers would encounter too many problems.

    As Colin and Carol have said, it was surprising to see Jay utilise quite so many full or partial anagrams, there are very few weeks when his count matches that of Rufus.

    My two favourite clues were the excellent 1a and 11a.

    Many thanks to Mr Mutch and to the 2Ks.

    1. The number of anagrams and the fact that I also thought it was trickier than a normal Wednesday made me question whether it was actually by Jay.
      I liked it a lot, especially 11a, 14a and 24a. Many thanks to the setter and to 2Kiwis for the review.

      1. I’m pretty sure it is one of his – just slightly quirky for a change, which I like.
        Cue ‘alternative setter turning up to make a fool of me…’

  16. That was fun.
    11a is my favourite .
    Thanks to the two Kiwis, I really liked the mental picture of walking on the newly shaped beach.Thanks also to Jay.

  17. Quite some application was called for today so couldn’t finish over breakfast but a second session later with a clear head did the trick. Made life difficult for myself in the NE by misspelling the anagram in 6a. 25a seems to be a bad penny these days. Few lighter moments today but quite pleasant. Thank you Jay (unless Gazza is right about identity of setter?) and the 2Kiwis.

    1. Perhaps if the setter had known the puzzle would be published today he would have given us Dahl (it being Roald’s anniversary). Would have needed a different clue/answer for 7d of course.

      1. Oh yes 101 today – felicitations and thanks to a uniquely talented storyteller. RIP. 🌟🌈🌹

    2. So cross with myself for not rumbling the Quickie pun in spite of thinking out loud numerous times – I like it.

  18. Nice puzzle from Jay that would have been finished sooner if I could spell. Putting the h in the wrong place in 6a makes solving 7d very tricky!

  19. At 9:15 this morning I received a phone call asking if I could be at the hospital at 10:30 for my second cataract operation as there had been a cancellation – needless to say I made it with time to spare and was back home by 2:15, having had lunch on the way. Eyepatch comes off at 4:30 so I won’t know until then how succesful it has been, but fingers are crossed!

    Accessing the computer is a bit of a struggle, so I’ll be offline for a few days.

    1. I am sure you will be fine. I have never looked back although the change when the second eye is done is not as dramatic as the first!

  20. Enjoyable and for the most part not too taxing. I found that I answered many of them backwards ie got the answer and then worked out why! I am happy with both clues for 6a. Perhaps the editor thinks that those who solve on line are more discerning? The paper version was a write in as Lad is an often used synonym for boy and H the often used abbreviation for hospital. To cap it all the answer is an often used vegetarian dish! I came doubly unstuck starting with 17d although did resolve without help. I was absolutely certain that Casual/l/y was the answer. There was not enough doubt in my mind to await the checking letters. The penny dropped when I realised what the answer must be for 21a. My troubles did not end there however as I could not spell that answer. Favourites 11, 14 and 24a (once I had removed the L as third letter) and 8d. Happy with 20d – settled on = came to rest on = lit on. Thanks Jay if it is you, 2Ks and all.

  21. Enjoyed this one today although i didn’t know 25a. When a clue is different in the paper, is it done deliberately? Why does it
    Thanks for the review.

    1. I don’t know for sure but I think that when a clue is different in the paper the editor has changed it in time for the online version but not before the papers are printed. Today’s clue for 6a in the paper could have been spelt in one of two ways as it is an alternative in the BRB – I only know that as I looked it up because it’s one of the ones I have trouble with – so I should think that’s why it was changed. All this is complete guesswork!

  22. I do enjoy Wednesday crosswords – it hadn’t occurred to me to doubt that Jay set it but now that Gazza has mentioned it I don’t know – lots of clues felt quite Jayish.
    A day for CS’s law – start with the downs on Wednesdays – I didn’t and only had about five answers having read all the across clues.
    Looking up how to spell 6a didn’t help so I had to wait until I got 7d to decide which one to go for.
    I also can’t spell 21a – however I do it it always looks wrong even when it’s right.
    17d was my last answer.
    I liked 11 and 14a and 17d – my favourite could be any one of those – you can all call me a ditherer if you want to.
    Thanks to Jay if he set today’s crossword, thanks to someone else if he didn’t, and thanks to the K’s too.
    Off to stack logs and then a big pile of ironing. :sad:

  23. I read through the across clues and got nowhere. First clue in was 19d. Don’t know how I missed 26a as it was such an easy clue. I managed to work from the bottom up, on the down clues, if that makes sense, and finished it after a wee bit of electronic help. Many thanks 2ks and setter.

  24. I was another who casually put the wrong answer into 17d. Fortunately, 21a flagged that up pretty quickly.

    One of the – many – reasons I know that I will never be a speed solver is that I can find myself held up by things that wouldn’t normally pose any problem. Today I pondered too long on 19d, while the intersecting answer of 25a held out too, even though the art was obvious. Had to force myself to let go of any thoughts of an op!

    My favourite is 1d, for surface reasons.

    Thanks to my favourite Jay and my favourite 2Kiwis.

  25. **/****
    Loved this and felt nostalgic (again! ) for 9d – not “chunks” this time but “rings” ha ha. Yummy (oops, sorry ! )
    24a made me smile about the dog, so that’s my favourite
    Thanks to favourite setter ( not dog ) and 2Kiwis.

  26. Very happy to read about BD’s successful eye operation.
    Found the crossword quite fluid until I got stuck on 17d and 21a for which I was looking for a reverse lurker but the letters didn’t make sense.
    Great clue.
    Liked 13a too.
    Thanks to the setter and to the kiwis for the review.

  27. Morning all.
    Our theory on why the newspaper sometimes has a different variant on a clue is that it is done to annoy whoever is writing the blog but we have to admit that the explanation offered by Kath is much more likely.
    We fairly raced through this one but still all the smiles and chuckles that we expect on a Wednesday.
    No time to swan around this morning as it is my (Colin’s) first day of working at an Advanced Voting Place for our General Election.

  28. A reasonably straightforward ** as regards difficulty, with the sweet last to fall. Yes, I had heard of it. No, the anagram didn’t leap off the page. Or screen, rather. An enjoyable mid-week treat.

    1. Jean-Luc. Dame Kiri certainly fits the dictionary definition of “A leading female singer in an opera company”. When we put in the photo of one of NZ’s most loved heroines we did not give a thought about the term prima donna also being used in a disparaging way. We definitely did not mean to imply that.

      1. You’re right. Dame Kiri would never have left our region like Elton did. Tantrums and Tiaras. Worth a look.

      2. The term Prima Donna for a chief female singer/diva (usually a soprano) in an opera – e.g. the very talented and charming Dame Kiri Te Kanawa -originated in the late 18th century but unfortunately has now been misconstrued to also indicate a temperamental, conceited person. 2Kiwis, in no way did your hint give the impression of wanting to point to the latter meaning. The announcement today that Dame Kiri will never again perform in public is indeed very sad news. 😢🌹

  29. 11a: Gangplank?? Get out of here!
    Where I come from, the word ‘gan’ means ‘to go’. For heaven’s sake – get real.

    1. I’m quite real – the Kiwis explanation is absolutely spot on – I can’t help where you come from or what ‘gan’ means to you.
      Just to reiterate – the definition, as underlined by the Kiwis, is ‘access to ship’. Begin with a three letter verb that means to keep quiet, perhaps with a piece of material – that contains (about) the one letter abbreviation for N(ew) – follow that with another word for a plot or scheme and finish off with another one letter abbreviation for K(ing).
      So what’s wrong with that?

    2. I’m quite real too. I know there is a regional meaning of gan (Tyneside?), but it doesn’t feature in the parsing of the clue.

    3. Bob Howat – What has a word (unheard of by me but no doubt regional to you) Gan got to do with this crossword, and what is unreal. Do you not like the clue or the hint or the comments by other bloggers? The 2Ks, as Kath has eloquently pointed out, have underlined the answer you need to look for. Gangplank is obvious as access to ship even before you start to parse it. Keep quiet = gag (not gan). You have to insert N (abbreviation for new). Plot = Plan and K (for King) comes at the end. Every constituent of the answer is there. This is, after all, a cryptic crossword. Most of us are full of admiration for the setters and our happy band of volunteers from around the world who provide very clear hints to help beginners.

    4. Hi Bob. It’s unlikely that a clue will be unfair or ‘unreal’ If you really want to know just how thoroughly crossword editors pick apart clues before okaying them have a look at our amateurs commenting in Rookie Corner. If you cannot understand how a clue works, hang fire and ask. Somebody will always explain and usually very quickly as did the ever helpful Kath above. I am on holiday in Scotland at the moment but will gan yam on Sunday.

  30. This seemed to me to be a fairly average Wednesday crossword – apart from 25a and 20d (failing the first quite spoiled my attempt to solve the second). I usually find Jay puzzles somewhat rich in ‘bung-ins’, by which I mean: easy-to-spot answers readily lifted from highly explicit clues – I’d say that this definition fits with the present grid. 14a made me laugh, thus I guess qualifies as favourite. Thanks to the 2 Ks and to the setter. Big Dave – well done with the op!

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