DT 28543 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28543

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28543

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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


Kia ora from Aotearoa.
                Well what’s new in our part of the world since we last wrote.
We have had a General Election which involved one of us with a few days work in an Advance Voting Place and then a marathon 14 hour day issuing and then counting votes on Saturday, the official Polling Day. Now we have to wait a couple of weeks while one of the minor parties negotiates with both of the major parties to sort out who will actually govern the country for the next three years.
We also put our clocks forward at the weekend so longer evenings for us from now on. It does mean that access to the puzzles is an hour later than it has been over our winter but that is not a problem.

Jay delivers the goods once again.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     In going before board, unionist revolutionary shows defiance of authority (15)
INSUBORDINATION: IN from the clue followed by an anagram (revolutionary) of BOARD UNIONIST.

9a     School actors for internet service (7)
PODCAST: The school could be a group of cetaceans and then the collective word for the actors in a stage or film production.

10a     Tyre, oddly, has more than enough tread (7)
TRAMPLE: The first and third letters of tyre and a word meaning more than enough or plenty.

11a     Bad loser in lawsuit is a dish (9)
CASSEROLE: A four letter word for a lawsuit surrounds an anagram (bad) of LOSER.

12a     Determination of women suffering (4)
WILL: The abbreviation for women precedes a word for suffering or ailing.

13a     Excellent, for each will be protected by advance on wages (6)
SUPERB: A three letter word meaning ‘for each’ is inside an informal word (that was new to us in this usage) for an advance on wages.

15a     Magazine rejected hotel — a case of rancid fish (8)
PILCHARD: Reverse a word for an ammunition container, so named for the way it attaches to a firearm, next the letter represented by hotel in radio communication, A from the clue, and the first and last letters (case of) rancid.

18a     Close friend of prisoner hiding note (8)
INTIMATE: One of the notes from the sol-fa scale is inside a word for someone in prison.

19a     French city does annoy (6)
ANGERS: Double definition. Does annoy = enrages.

22a     Work on carbon monoxide compound (4)
COOP: The compound is where you might find birds or animals. The chemical formula for carbon monoxide and an artistic work.

23a     To start off, it’s roughly covered by home attendance (9)
INSTIGATE:   The short word for ‘at home’, an anagram (roughly) of ITS and then a word used to express the attendance at a sporting or other such event.

26a     Top expert on breakers (7)
SURFACE: The breakers are what we see on our regular beach walks. This is followed by a synonym for an expert.

27a     Popular range giving link to president? (3,4)
HOT LINE:  Double definition. The second is the link between Moscow and Washington that was set up after the Cuba missile crisis of the 1960s.

28a     Come down heavily on addicts as gran gets trashed (4,4,3,4)
RAIN CATS AND DOGS: An anagram (gets trashed) of ON ADDICTS AS GRAN.


1d     Independent agreements encompassing mass strikes (7)
IMPACTS: The abbreviation for independent, the physics symbol for mass and a word for agreements or treaties.

2d     Teams with spin bowlers all out bar the tail-ender (5)
SIDES: A word meaning spin or bias and the letter that remains from bowlers after all the preceding ones are discarded.

3d     Part of car was very hot around front of radiator — strange! (5,4)
BRAKE DRUM: A word meaning ‘was very hot’ or ‘cooked dry in an oven’ includes the first letter of radiator, then a word for strange or odd.

4d     No one is up supporting double-crosser getting allowance (6)
RATION: The rodent used as a metaphor for a double-crosser is followed by the reversal (up in a down clue) of NO and the Roman numeral one.

5d     Courageous international agent needs passport, for example (8)
INTREPID: The three letter abbreviation for international, an agent or salesperson and how a passport can be described as one’s ‘papers’.

6d     Nearly open for a drink? (4)
AJAR: ‘A’ from the clue and an informal term for a glass of beer.

7d     Involve mischievous child with tall story about pet (9)
IMPLICATE: A three letter mischievous child, then a tall story or untruth surrounds a feline pet.

8d     Wanted to cross line, annoyed (7)
NEEDLED: A word meaning wanted contains the abbreviation for line.

14d     Top up and serve half of rich smorgasbord (9)
POTPOURRI: Reverse the word TOP from the clue, then a word to serve a drink followed by the first two letters (half) of rich.

16d     Made up arguments against planned diets (9)
CONSISTED: The arguments against are the opposite of ‘pros’ and then an anagram (planned) of diets.

17d     Loudly assertive step, clamping down on National Trust (8)
STRIDENT: A step or pace and the abbreviation for the National Trust.

18d     Zinc is organic, offering something with bite (7)
INCISOR: A lurker hiding in the first three words of the clue.

20d     Transfixes second people in line for broadcast (7)
SKEWERS: The abbreviation for a second and a homophone of a word meaning people lined up to receive some service.

21d     Complaint from motoring organisation about street followed by Her Majesty (6)
ASTHMA: An organisation of vehicle owners contains the abbreviation for street and the literal abbreviation for Her Majesty. Not ER in this instance.

24d     Nice friend shot mate from Spain (5)
AMIGO: Nice is the place so we need the French word for friend and a word for a shot or a turn.

25d     Oddly, team lick white powder (4)
TALC: Every alternate letter (oddly) from team lick.

One member of our team took ages before the penny dropped for 20a so that gets our vote for favourite.

Quickie pun    wry    +    tusk    +    ramp    =    writer’s cramp


63 comments on “DT 28543

  1. I was slightly within the 2Ks rating at 2.5*/4* but otherwise this was another excellent Jay puzzle. I liked the long anagrams, but my favourite was 20d, coincidentally my last one in.

    Thanks to Jay for cheering up a grey morning here in the Marches, and to the 2Ks.

  2. For me, these Mon-Wed back-pagers seem to follow a regular pattern: very gentle on Mon; gentle on Tues; average-ish on Wed. That’s a mere observation, not a complaint. 18a: I never realised that ti is an alternative spelling for te, though I must have come across several times before. 2*/3.5*.

  3. 2.5*/5*. Another wonderful Jay puzzle which was so good that he can be forgiven for using oddly twice! I’m on my way to the Oval and will be meeting Silvanus there later. I wonder if he will also be forgiving?!

    20d was also my last one in and favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. Don’t be silly – anyone could show me a picture of any of the workings of a car and I wouldn’t argue with whatever they told me it was.

      1. You obviously didn’t spend your tender years watching your boyfriend pull his car to bits (numerous times) and then watching him put it back together. Is there anything more boring than helping bleed the brakes? I used to dread the words “what’s that noise?” as that always preceded work on the car (Morris 8) again. But we thought ourselves lucky to even afford a car, old and unreliable as it was, having graduated from the cold and wet rides on his Cotton motorbike. And yes we did go on to get married, and no, he no longer does his own car repairs.

        1. Guess what, my Mum was a keen motorcycle rider and used to test Cotton motorcycles for them! She also participated in scrambles, not really what ladies were supposed to do in the 1920s. I have a plaque when she won 1st place in some race in 1925. I’ll see if I can take a pic of it and add to my gravatar. I’ve never found anyone who knew about Cotton motorcycles before.

          1. Cotton motorbikes – a blast from the past. We are relative newcomers to Gloucester, but we hear that they were manufactured here in the city, and models appear at various local vintage venues during the summer. The Cotton Owners Club still meets at the site of the old works in Quay Street, and there is a section in the Folk Museum in Westgate dedicated to the company’s history.

            1. Oh, I’d love to go there. My Mum and Dad were Glos folk and we spent a lot of time there on and off when I was a child and we visited England.

          2. What a small world 🙂 We have never met anyone else who owned one. Would love to see the picture.

    2. It’s not really a picture of the brake drum, but the back plate, brake shoes & slave cylinder. I remember boiling the shoes in mothers saucepan in order to degrease, she was not best pleased!

      1. I remember the lovely lady, who went on to become my mother in law, putting up with a car engine being stored next to her kitchen sink.

    3. OK. We realised when we selected the pic it was the working parts of a drum brake rather than the drum itself but we thought it made a more interesting picture and still is a clear hint to the answer.

  4. I did quite well on the across clues and most of the downs were R&W, bar two. The answer to 2d was obvious but took me ages to parse. 20d defeated me and I needed the hints. I also needed a map to spot 19a; not an area of France that I am familiar with, I’m afraid.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  5. Another very good Jay Wednesday, completed at a fast canter, very enjoyable – **/****.

    However, when considering a specific definition/usage of 14d, I did have some trouble convincing myself that it and smorgasbord are synonymous.

    Possibilities for favourite almost endless, but I managed to refine my list to 15a, 20d, and 24d – and the winner is 20d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  6. Yes, it was a pity that Jay used “oddly” twice as an alternate letter indicator, but I am in forgiving mood!

    Along with the popular 20d, 28a and 3d (my LOI) featured on my winners’ podium today.

    Many thanks to Mr Mutch and the 2Ks, the weather gods at The Oval seem to have been kind to those of us attending today.

  7. Another great Wednesday crossword – I love them.
    I thought I’d do a quick comment now just in case the blog feels the need to go to sleep for a while as it has done the last couple of days.
    2d caused trouble for me – the usual ‘crickety blindness’ took over although it didn’t really need to have done so.
    20d took ages and was my last answer and 3d took a while too.
    I liked 22a and 3, 7 and 14d. My favourite was 24d.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s.

  8. Jay has done us proud again today with another of his captivating conundrums which I personally thoroughly enjoyed. Fav was definitely 20d. Parsing for last part of 23a stupidly foxed me as did 2d. I too would question 14d synonym. Thank you Jay and the 2Kiwis. 👍

    1. As you indicate 2Kiwis, it seems that election results worldwide these days are increasingly dependent on kingmakers facilitating a government viz NZ, UK, Germany etc.

  9. Nice puzzle **/****. Like others, I thought 20d was a 13a clue. None of the others really stood out for me. I didn’t like 2d very much.

  10. Rarely has a puzzle had so much food. A smorgasbord with pilchard, a casserole, lovely roasted vegetables on the skewers and eggs from a five star luxury coop which hopefully contains table birds as well as layers. The long across answers went in from the definitions plus a few checkers. I guessed at anagrams but long ones tend to shout themselves out eventually. The way 2d worked eluded me until I read the 2ks hint so thanks to them for that. Thanks also to Mr Mutch for an excellent and very enjoyable puzzle. Roll on tomorrow.

      1. Teams as underlined as the definition are sides. Spin as in favourably twisting the truth is side. All out bar the tail ender indicates the last letter of Bowlers. I hope that helps.

  11. Strewth, another on in a long line of tough BPs this week. Many of the clues were a lot easier asker to solve than understand such as 15a, 23a,2d and the hardest of all 20d.
    For me much too much of a slog to be very enjoyable. ***/**
    Thx for the hints.

  12. smorgasbord noun a Swedish-style assortment of hot and cold savoury dishes served as a buffet.
    potpourri noun (potpourris) 1 a fragrant mixture of dried flowers, leaves, etc placed in containers and used to scent rooms. 2 a medley or mixture. 3 a collection of old tunes.
    (Chambers online)

    Surprised by Jose and the LRB.

    A bit tenuous methinks. Is this not A = C again?

      1. Hi Senf – I thought that there is a difference between an assortment (array, such a smorgasbord) and a mixture (combination of things, such as potpourri).

        If wanted to make some bread dough, I would need an assortment of ingredients to make the mixture. No?

        Could just be me in a wibbly-wobbly world of my own though – I am happy to be humbled by the better educated…

        PS Glad to hear all is well.

        1. LbR – we could get very philosophical (if we were better educated), but, how about this, in the paper BRB the first entry for potpourri is ‘orig a mixed stew,’ now it is a bowl of smelly stuff, It just goes to show how definitions evolve with usage over time.

          1. Well I’ll tell you what a smorgasbord isn’t. It isn’t antipasti.

            Which is a shame because it put me back 20 minutes

    1. Not sure about A=C, it’s a direct synonym from Chambers Thesaurus. Here’s the full list. Potpourri: medley, mixture, assortment, jumble, hotchpotch, miscellany, collection, melange, confusion, smorgasbord, pastiche, patchwork, gallimaufry [that’s a cracker], hodgepodge, olla-podrida [and that!], olio.

  13. A lovely puzzle; I’m not often so well attuned to Jay. Agree with 20d as COTD, */**** for me. Many thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

  14. I enjoyed solving this puzzle which stretched me close to the limit of my ability. So many contenders for top clue.- 9a, 15a, 27a and 20d. I am going to vote for 15a simply because I worked it out purely from the wordplay. As a lifelong vegetarian my knowledge of fish and meat is negligible but increasing thanks to the crossword and the blog.

    1. I was thinking, how could anybody work out 15a just from the clue, and you did it.
      Well done you.

  15. Good afternoon everybody.

    Mostly straightforward today. Last in was 22a which I couldn’t rationalise at the time and am far from being convinced by the usage suggested in the hint. Call me old fashioned but surely usages should at the very least be (or have been) in use.

    Otherwise a nice puzzle.


  16. Returned from a lovely day on the Derbyshire Derwent, catching a few beautiful little grayling on dry flies, to this monster which destroyed my serenity very quickly with a plethora of contrived clues. Sorry, but didn’t enjoy this one much, and needed some electronic help to finish it.. So, unusually, only ****/** from me.

  17. I’m too am in the 20d crowd as far as favourite clue is concerned. Wednesday crosswords have long been a treat to solve and this one is no exception. 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to Jay, and to the 2Ks for their review.

  18. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A fabulous puzzle as usual from Jay. Most enjoyable. Perhaps I was on the right wavelength, but I found it very straightforward. Just needed the hints to parse 2d. The French city in 9a was new to me. Favourite was 20d, which was the penultimate one in, the last was 26a. Was 2*/4* for me.

  19. Good Jay puzzle again today. We’ve had the French city before and, by a miracle, I remembered it.
    My Fave was originally 24d, but now that I understand 20d, that has nosed 24d out. My answer to 20d was a pure bung in. I also needed the hints to “get” why 2d was what it was.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis.

    1. P.S. On behalf of the tropics, may I apologise for sending you the remnants of Marie! She has caused so much trouble already, you’d think she would just roll over and surrender.

  20. Late in so it’s all been said by others. Yes, I had a fight on my hands to parse 2d – yes, 20d was my last one in and yes, said 20d was my favourite!
    Thought 19a was a rather weak clue by Jay’s standards but that was a minor point.

    Thanks to Jay and to 2Ks for the review – no wildlife report this week?

  21. Morning all.
    Quite a relief to find that the blog all came together in the end. It was rather slow to behave itself when we were putting it together yesterday so good to wake up this morning to find it appeared as scheduled. Only minor hitch was the one Miffypops picked up above but think we have that sorted too.
    20d seems to have wide acceptance as top clue. It certainly amused us.
    The weather office is promising us a few fine days for a change so we will have to make the most of it.

  22. A ** for difficulty here, for an enjoyable solve. 20d was my last one in, and favourite clue today, against a lot of good competition. 1ac was one of those clues that looks a little daunting at first sight, with as many letters as we could possibly get, and quite a long cryptic bit, but with a couple of letters could be little else.

  23. Enjoyable puzzle from Jay today, but doubt if I could have finished without the 2Kiwis hints, thank you. Liked 28a but I have only heard it used with “raining” as the first word, rather than “rain”.

    Just relieved that I was able to open the site today.

  24. I thought that today more answers than usual were obvious from the enumerations and the words at one end or another of the clue, which made for a fairly swift grid fill. Overall it was a fun solve, and I particularly enjoyed the smoothness of 13a and 15a, and the fine lurker in 18d.

    I’m pleased to see that following yesterday’s discussion about the evils of setters subtracting letters from words that don’t exist, today’s addition of a letter to a word that doesn’t exist is on many lists of favourites. I needed the 2K’s explanation of 2d because I couldn’t believe that a setter would use six words to clue a single letter (which I’m pretty sure is a record for number of clue words per answer letter). But upon reflection, I’ve warmed to the idea – after all, a 90 word paragraph clueing a 15-letter answer would be a sight to see. Just not on a Tuesday, please.

    Thanks to Jay for the entertainment and to the 2Kiwis for a great blog.

  25. Another Wednesday cracker.
    Thanks all, sorry I can’t comment more, a day entertaining a 3-year-old in Brighton has just about finished me off.

  26. I counted 7 answers beginning ‘IN’ which I thought worthy of comment. As you see I am still working on this puzzle at 6-00 am, Thursday

  27. I really appreciate the blog. But why do I have problems connecting only on Thursday mornings? I can get it later in the day.

  28. Greetings from South Devon.

    Enjoyed this! Although I must admit, with a couple (e.g. 15a and 14d) I guessed the answer but struggled to parse it until I read the hints. 20d tickled my funny bone and is my favourite, but I also like 24d. Thought there were some good surface readings.

  29. Took a while to spot the homophone in 20a thinking transfixing had a different meaning.
    Nice charade in 5d.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2ks.

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