DT 28537 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28537

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28537

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****


Kia ora from Aotearoa.
               Despite what the weather is telling us, Spring has arrived. The duck ponds we pass on our regular walk have large clutches of newly-hatched cute little ducklings obediently clustering around their mothers. On the tidal mud-flats of the estuary we found that the bar-tailed godwits had recently arrived after their non-stop flight from Alaska. They will stay with us now for our summer.
Jay amused us again today as he never fails to do.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Donor‘s complaint about new player (10)
BENEFACTOR : A four letter word for a complaint contains the abbreviation for new and is followed by a player found in a theatre.

6a     Responsibility, having advantage but losing the lead (4)
ONUS : A word for an advantage or extra payment loses its first letter.

9a     Feel concern about victory appearing in court division (5-2)
CARVE-UP : The letter signifying victory is included in a word for feel concern and then a two letter word meaning appearing in court.

10a     Inflammatory European rationale (7)
EMOTIVE : The abbreviation for European and then a word for rationale, or reason for doing something.

12a     Nobody let off Labour association (3,3,7)
OLD BOY NETWORK : An anagram (off) of NOBODY LET and then a word for labour. (The capitalisation  is only there to mislead).

14a     Quiet footballers in company providing breeding ground for schools (4,4)
FISH FARM : The two letters used to invoke silence and the administrative body for footballers are inside a word for a company or business.

15a     Frozen? It helps to cover top (6)
ZENITH : A lurker hiding in the first three words of the clue.

17a     Listen in rage, lost, crossing central London district (6)
EARWIG : An anagram (lost) of RAGE includes the London district that takes in Mayfair and Soho.

19a     Heart, perhaps, is initially eager and direct (8)
ORGANISE : What the heart is an example of and then ‘is’ from the clue and the first letter (initially) of eager.

21a     Successful run of king after life (metaphorically) in turbulent water (7,6)
WINNING STREAK : The metaphorical word for life comes from cricket. This is inside an anagram (turbulent) of WATER. Then finish with the chess annotation for king.

24a     Income generated by engineers replacing start of tree-lined road (7)
REVENUE : Take a word for a tree-lined road and replace its first letter with the two letters for army engineers.

25a     Ruin fun and stagger, showing force out of habit (7)
UNFROCK : An anagram (ruin) of FUN and then a word meaning stagger or wobble.

26a      Type like this vacuous recruit (4)
SORT : A word meaning ‘like this’ and then the first and last letters (vacuous) of recruit.

27a     Popular item of underwear intended, reportedly, for capital (10)
INVESTMENT : The two letter word meaning popular, then an item of underwear worn on the torso and a homophone of a word meaning intended.


1d     Have a punt on other side (4)
BACK : The alternative to this side is front.

2d     Contracts speeded up arguments (7)
NARROWS : Reverse (up in a down clue) a word meaning speeded and then arguments or tiffs.

3d     Criminal soon vilified by female’s spatial perception (5,2,6)
FIELD OF VISION : Start with the abbreviation for female and then an anagram (criminal) of SOON VILIFIED.

4d     Furniture item requiring copper lead on a rod, possibly (8)
CUPBOARD : The chemical symbols for two metals mentioned in the clue and then an anagram (possibly) of A ROD.

5d     Evenly poached — ain’t much water (5)
OCEAN : The alternate letters taken from the second and third words of the clue.

7d     Robin circulates around first-class capital (7)
NAIROBI : The two letters signifying first class are inside the word ROBIN when the last letter is moved to the front (circulates).

8d     He nicks your stuff if he’s taken amiss (5,5)
SNEAK THIEF : An anagram (amiss) of IF HE’S TAKEN.

11d      Apparently where hands must work round the clock … (2,3,4,2,2)
ON THE FACE OF IT : A cryptic description of where the hands of the clock are to be found.

13d     … then, behind parts of hospital (10)
AFTERWARDS : A word for behind or following and then parts of a hospital where patients are to be found.

16d     Stick out rubbish hoarded by strait-laced type (8)
PROTRUDE : A word for a strait-laced person surrounds rubbish or garbage.

18d     Summarised article pinched by hobo (3,4)
RAN OVER : A hobo or itinerant includes the version of indefinite article that precedes a vowel.

20d     Annoying a few, supporting church with no roof (7)
IRKSOME : The church here is a Scottish one and loses its first letter (roof in a down clue). Below this (supporting) is a word for a few.

22d     Harvest acres within valley (5)
GLEAN : A Scottish word for a valley includes the abbreviation for acre.

23d     Go around with no end of paper for sketch (4)
SKIT :  Remove the last letter of paper from inside a word for go around, sidle or detour .

It took us a while to realise there were two metals in 4d so that is today’s favourite.

Quickie pun     putter     +      tease    =    put at ease

44 comments on “DT 28537

  1. 2.5*/5*. Magnificent – again! This was a steady but extremely enjoyable solve, well up to Jay’s usual very high standard.
    1a was a wonderful charade to start off with and was my favourite, closely followed by 12a & 4d. 17a was my last one in.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  2. This was a distinct improvement on the previous two back-pagers. A reasonable challenge and very enjoyable. 15a was a cracking lurker. 2.5*/3.5*.

  3. Loved today’s challenge. Thank you Jay. Fav by a short head was 25a. Stupidly failed to parse 5d so thank you for that 2Kiwis and all your other timely hints which I enjoyed reading after the event.

  4. Good morning everybody.

    Lurkers seldom elude and 15a was first in. 7 through 16d were rather too straightforward and lit up too much of the grid too early for my liking. Last in were 23d and 25a which I should have seen more readily.


  5. Very nice. I just had a go at the Virgilius/Brendan in the Guardian, but failed as it requires a fair amount of literary knowledge. So I came here for a confidence boost, and I’m glad I did.

    All clues great and hard to choose a favourite, but I did smile at the wordplay for 4d.

    Many thanks Jay and 2Kiwis

  6. Almost completed at a gallop, but I faltered over 22d (I had thoughts about the TV show Green Acres and the film How Green was my Valley) so finished at a fast canter – 1.5*/3.5*.

    I liked all the 13 letter clues, and 11d comes out on top as my favourite.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    (Just been woken up by wind and rain).

  7. Lots to enjoy in this hugely enjoyable and moderately testing Jay offering. 14a just my favourite from the popular 4d, 17a my last one in and 2.5*/4* overall.

    Many thanks to Jay for a sparkling crossword and to the 2Ks.

  8. The usual high quality Wednesday challenge from Jay didn’t disappoint.. 13d was my favourite and 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to Jay and the TwoKays for their review.

  9. Most enjoyable solve for a while, I note that satisfaction is rife from the bloggers !
    Some wonderful charades-1a,14a,21a ( probably my favourite ) for instance.
    A ‘steady’ solve for me too, so agree with 2K’s on a **/****, as Young Salopian says ‘hugely enjoyable’ -perfectly put.
    Thanks to setter and 2K’s for the pics

  10. Like most of you, I thought this was very enjoyable, maybe the best for a while. **/****. Went in at a good steady pace. 19a stumped me for a while. Lots of good clues, but I’ll mention 1a, 9a,15a, 25a and 20d. 19a – favourite.

  11. Nice puzzle just had problem determining the court in 9a, so thanks for the hint.
    Just girding my loins for tomorrow’s trial. Still I am out most the day trying to make contact with that little white ball so I will be able to get away from the temptation to try the Ray T.
    Thx to all.

  12. A very enjoyable puzzle. I cannot point to a favourite, as I thought they were all good.

    Many thanks to Jay, and to the 2Ks.

  13. Certainly an upgrade on yesterday’s offering. There were several clues to relish. Both 14a and 15a were appealing but I will nominate 25a as my favourite.

  14. As the number of bloggers increases, is there an appetite to automatically collate the ratings?
    Today’s averages is 2.2/3.8, close to the 2K’s assessment.
    Similarly, some form of voting system for the best clues.
    I’m sure this blog is great feedback to the setters.

    1. And, “last one in” is often interesting. Seem to yield more variation than common sense would have you expect.

  15. Superb entertainment as ever from Mr Mutch to brighten up a grey Wednesday.

    Interesting to see a wide range of favourite clues being nominated, mine were 9a, 14a, 21a and 2d.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Colin and Carol.

  16. A good crossword which I found a bit more difficult than the last few Wednesdays.
    I got into a terrible pickle with 14a having spotted FIFA rather than FA – at least I’ve heard of it even if it was wrong.
    The metaphorical life in 21a fooled me for ages.
    25a was tricky because I couldn’t read my own writing and thought the ‘F’ was an ‘E’.
    It took a while to realise that we needed a second symbol in 4d.
    I liked 9 and 21a and 3 and 11d. My favourite was 12a.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s.

    1. Answer to 4d was easy having the first letter as the symbol for copper is a regular. However, I could not quite parse. I thought there was probably another symbol but on looking now have only just spotted the partial anagram. Silly of me or what?

  17. Excellent from the ever-reliable Jay – a most satisfactory, if all too brief, solve. It’s not that I find his puzzles easy – I don’t – but I generally seem to grasp what each clue requires at first reading. This is not the case with some other setters where the battle is to determine just what they are looking for to provide a route to the answer. So thanks to Jay, as ever, and to the K’s. 1*/4*
    While I’m here, may I take the opportunity to express my surprise and heartfelt thanks to those who sent such positive comments in my direction yesterday. You have no idea how much it means to me at a difficult time

  18. Lovely puzzle. I thought we were in for a pangram when I saw 15a. Thanks to Jay for clues that work so logically and fairly and the 2Ks for the review.

  19. A bit slow to get the 1a/d combo but everything else slotted nicely into place once those fell.
    Think my favourite was 11a for the smile factor with 21a coming up a close second.

    Thanks to Jay and to 2Ks for the blog and update on the NZ wildlife. It will be a while before we get any fluffy ducklings around here!

  20. I found the north very tricky, but the south slotted in nicely. Good fun from start to finish.
    I needed the hints to solve a couple in the NW corner and totally missed the lurker at 15a. I thought 17a was an insect, bunged it in anyway.
    Fave was 12a, but that seems unfair when any of this good puzzle could qualify.
    Thanks to Jay, and the 2Kiwis for the needed hints.

    Off piste here: I hope that Wahoo pops in to give us his experiences through this horrible hurricane and let us know he’s safe.

  21. I enjoyed this a great deal. Too much crosswordy goodness thoughout to identify a single favourite though.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks.

  22. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A super puzzle as usual from Jay. Very enjoyable. Needed the hints to parse 9a, didn’t know up meant in court, and 23d. Last in was 19a, which took a while. Lots of good clues, my favourite was 25a. Was 2*/4* for me.

  23. Great puzzle but I struggled with 2d for ages. I had the wrong sort of contracts in my mind.Thank you Jay and 2ks.

  24. Loved this puzzle from Jay, with nothing too convoluted or specialized GK needed. 1a went straight in, which is usually a bad omen for me, but had a good run today and finished with a few of 2Kiwis hints, thanks to all. Last in 20d. Favorite was 1a as delightfully cryptic. Also envy 2Kiwis morning walks, sound idyllic.

    1. We had the pleasure of doing a morning walk with the Kiwis just over a year and a half ago – you’re right, it is idyllic and we had such a wonderful three days with them.

  25. Now that is what I call a relaxing solve.
    Didn’t solve it in any particular order but the clues were quite clear. As usual from Jay.
    Thanks to him and to 2kiwis for the review.

  26. Morning all.
    Looks like Jay has managed to be right on target this week. All the comments appear to be in agreement about the quality and enjoyment obtained from this puzzle. We feel very privileged to be able to blog them each Wednesday.

  27. A fun puzzle for a distinctly wet, grey, autumnal evening. * for difficulty for most of the puzzle, but, well, it took me an age to spot the hidden word at 15ac. Doh.

  28. This one hit the spot. Masterly indeed. Did at a steady trot in bed this morning. Sorry to be usually a day after everyone else, but do not get the paper till I go out later. Very interesting reading the bloggers. Different views on best clues, most difficult clues, last in etc. My favourites 14 17 19 and 25a and 16 and 18d. Could not parse 4d until after the event although answer was what it had to be. Last three in were 20d, 26a and 21a. Was solved in a haphazard manner which I like. It is good to get near the end and discover some clues previously unread which then give the way in to others. Thanks Jay – you deserve the crown for this one. Thanks 2Ks – always good to read the hints even when not used. Falcon posted today’s hints before I had started on this one!

  29. Should have said I found 21a and 9d difficult to parse. I got 9a for the wrong reason. I think of a carve-up in Court as what advocates like to do in order to get an early bath or drink (particularly if on a fixed-fee). A more polite word would be compromise.

  30. While solving I felt that this was distinctly above average difficulty for a back page bear, but then I looked at the clock, and found that quite a bit less time had passed than I’d thought, fitting with the Kiwis ratings and general consensus.

    Great stuff, no single clue of which stands far above the rest. Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis. I envy you your ducklings.

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