DT 28550 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28550

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28550

Hints and tips by pommers

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

Morning all and welcome to a RayThursday. I thought this was going to be pretty easy when I got eight of the acrosses on first pass but then I only got eight of the downs, even with the checkers in place.  It was well into *** time by the time the rest had revealed themselves.  For me the enjoyment level was its usual high but I bet we’ll have some disagreement about that.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a           Pig, our man decides to eat pig (8)
GOURMAND:  We start today with a lurker.  This chap who likes to eat and drink a lot is hidden (to eat) in PIG OUR MAN DECIDES.

9a           Cold and damp and spacious, we hear … (6)
RHEUMY:  The answer sounds like (we hear) a word describing somewhere spacious.

10a         … really  kind of light (4)
VERY:  Double definition.

11a         United get trained working out (10)
INTEGRATED:  Anagram (working out) of GET TRAINED.

12a         Beer belly of a being consumed by drink (6)
PAUNCH:  Start with a party drink and insert (being consumed by) the A from the clue.

14a         Shocks from power cuts without resistance (8)
OUTRAGES:  An American term for power cuts goes around (without) an R(esistance).

15a         The French experiment is most recent (6)
LATEST:  The feminine definite article in French is followed by an experiment or trial.

17a         Colour is fashionable till over (6)
INDIGO:  The usual word for fashionable is followed by a word meaning to till and then an O(ver).

20a         Cutting edge round old empty cask causes closure (8)
BLOCKADE:  Start with O(ld) and a CK (empty CasK) and around it (round) place a cutting edge or knife.

22a         Strong man about to reverse squat (6)
HUNKER:  A strong, attractive man is followed by the usual two letters for about, but it’s backwards (to reverse).

23a         Hostility strangely against keeping on male (10)
ANTAGONISM:  Anagram (strangely) of AGAINST placed around (keeping) the ON from the clue and then M(ale) at the end.

24a         Part inside tree’s heartwood initially (4)
PITH:  First letters (initially) of the other words in the clue.

25a         Boot that is put on properly (6)
WELLIE:  A word for properly or good followed by the usual two letters for “that is”.

26a         Church service still new, with good following (8)
EVENSONG:  A phrase (4,2) meaning still is followed by N(ew) and G(ood).


1d           Move missing wingers in squad getting fit together (8)
DOVETAIL:  “Missing wingers” means remove the first and last letters from something. So, remove the first and last letters from MOVE to leave you with OV and then put this into a word for a squad of soldiers.

2d           Hope beam supports stern of ship (4)
PRAY:  A beam of light after (supports in a down clue) the last letter (stern of) of shiP

3d           District‘s hot south of foreign capital (6)
PARISH: H(ot) is placed after (south of in a down clue) a foreign capital city where RayT lives.

4d           Panic is appropriate being trapped in bog (8)
FRIGHTEN:  To panic someone is a word for appropriate or correct in (trapped in) the type of bog you find in East Anglia.

5d           Split pants are ruined, holding vulgar expression back (10)
SEPARATION:  Take an anagram (ruined) of PANTS ARE and insert (holding) a vulgar expression used to attract attention but it’s reversed (back).

6d           This compiler’s strangely deep and slow (6)
IMPEDE:  How the compiler might say he is followed by an anagram (strangely) of DEEP.  We’ve already had this anagram indicator in 23a.

8d           Internet company‘s ruin, accepting tick, oddly (6)
DOTCOM:  Take a word for ruin or a terrible fate and insert the alternate letters (oddly) from TiCk.

13d         Evident single guy embraces sweetheart after zero time (10)
NOTICEABLE:  Start with another way of saying zero followed by T(ime).  After that you need an I (single) and a word for a guy rope into which you need to insert (embraces) an E (swEet heart).  One of those that’s much easier to solve than hint.

16d         Mature offspring adopting a child (8)
SEASONED:  Take a biblical word for offspring and insert (adopting) the A from the clue and a male child.

18d         It’s part of lover to need suggestion (8)
OVERTONE:  The second lurker is hidden in (part of) LOVER TO NEED.

19d         Perhaps Game of Thrones Queen upset formula (6)
RECIPE:  A word describing Game of Thrones or any Charlton Heston film and the usual Queen is all reversed (upset in a down clue).

21d         Delay vessel taking on gallons (6)
LINGER:  Start with a passenger ship (vessel) and insert (taking on) a G(allons).

22d         Bad actor surmounts hindrance to get Shakespearean role (6)
HAMLET:  A bad actor is followed by (surmounts in a down clue) a legal word for a hindrance, usually seen in the phrase “without ??? or hindrance”.

24d         Hard drink, lifting elbow (4)
PUSH:  H(ard) and a word meaning to drink are reversed (lifting in a down clue).

I found this an enjoyable puzzle but without a stand-out favourite.  All round good stuff but if pushed I’d go for 13d as tops.

Quick crossword pun:     KNOW     +     WIRE     +     DEAR     =     NO IDEA


71 comments on “DT 28550

  1. 3*/5*. A nicely challenging puzzle worth 5* for enjoyment in my book for the second day running.

    I needed to check my BRB for 22a which was a new word for me and my last one in. 4d appealed to my schoolboy sense of humour. 22d was my favourite, thanks to its great surface, with 12a in second place.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to pommers.

  2. Fairly straightforward but I can normally get on Ray’s wavelength. Got stalled on 5d for some reason.
    I think the quick crossword pun is a three parter.
    Anyone scared of the Toughie should try today’s. It is very very mild.
    Thanks to pommers and Ray.

  3. Enjoyable and certainly a bit harder than the Toughie though I thought it was a bit short on Ray T’s customary innuendo. Thanks to him and to pommers.
    [I thought that the Quickie pun involved three words rather than two.]

    1. I’m with you on the three words for the quickie pun. I’ve no idea what it means if it is just two words though.

  4. Lots of fun, with a few that had to be teased out.

    Using pommers’ system I’d have lots of blue, but I can’t pick out one to crown as today’s sweetheart.

    (Like the commenters above, I have ** **** about the quickie pun.)

    Thanks to RayT and pommers.

      1. Hi RD. Not much of a story. Tame creatures in Kensington Gardens last month. The one pictured didn’t get any nuts!

  5. The paper version of the quicky has three parts 8 A precious (4 letters). Back to the main crossword found it a bit of a struggle,guess I’m not on the same wave length today. Many thanks to all.

  6. An enjoyable steady solve with most clues needing some thought. LOI 22ac. The clue for 17ac doesn’t read very well. The word OVER Spoils it. I don’t have an alternative though. Thanks to Pommers and thanks to RayT. Now to finish yesterday’s Toughie. Not many to go.

  7. I, too, thought 12a was a gem of a clue and a worthy favourite. Everything was right about it. 19d was my last one in, and I felt this was a really enjoyable and extremely solvable puzzle. I know Ray T puzzles are like Marmite to regular commenters, but I thoroughly enjoy them. This was a 2.5/*4.5* for me, with many thanks to RT and pommers.

  8. Very difficult, at the very limit of my capabilities (and beyond, I’m afraid!) – I needed the Blog to get my last couple. There were quite a few where I didn’t have a clue what the word could be, and even when I got them I was unsure whether they were right or not – a bit unsatisfactory!

    Thursday’s are invariably the toughest puzzles of the week, I’m not sure if I enjoy them or not – I think it’s good to stretch yourself but it’s also a bit frustrating.

  9. I agree that the pun is a 3 parter.

    I found it reasonably straightforward but great fun. 4 down ws my favourite as it also appealed to my childish sense of humor.

    Many thanks to all concerned.

  10. A pleasure to solve. Last one in was 22a, which required a dictionary to verify.

    Many thanks to RayT, and to pommers.

  11. 26a. EVENSONG: A phrase (4,2) meaning still is followed by G(ood). Should be followed by N(ew) and G(ood)?

  12. I don’t know whether I am teaching my Grandma to suck eggs, but if the Quickie pun is more than two words, the clues are usually italicised; as they are today.

    As to the cryptic, it was a slow starter which accelerated quite rapidly until I had it finished in ** time, except for 16d. Another * was spent staring at it & scribbling around it until I threw in the towel and came here. DOH!

    Many thanks To Ray T and Pommers.

    1. The Quickie pun is only italicised if you’re using the paper version. Online, there’s no clue.

  13. Echoing Michael’s comment, I too find the Thursday puzzle the hardest of the week. Needed hints for six clues today. Not helped by an incorrect answer to 20a and confusing ‘closure’ with ‘enclosure’ and hence entering a rhyming word!

    The good thing is I’m learning and slowly improving!

    Thanks as usual to Ray T and pommers.

  14. Firstly agree with Pommers ***/****, two excellent puzzles on the run , quite testing with a difficult grid thrown in!.
    Pleased for once with the anagrams which provided the much needed checking letters.
    The charades were particularly good today ,some would not be out of place in the toughie eg 13d.
    Liked 24d- short and sweet- 7a was a top class lurker which eluded me for quite a while
    Thanks to all.

  15. I thought this was an easier than usual Ray T crossword. Or perhaps I’m having a good day for a change! Regardless great fun to do with 1d being my favourite and 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to Ray T, and to pommers for the review.

  16. Knew that I should have checked the spelling of 9a before committing it to paper – 5d was looking decidedly difficult as a result!
    Had a bit of a panic over the clue for 8d but it proved to be OK even for this neophobe (lovely word, I’m so pleased that crosswordland taught me that one!).
    Once I’d sorted out the various offspring in 16d the job was done – and all as enjoyable as ever from Mr T.

    Happy to go along with Pommers’ list of ticks and think the favourite slot goes to the Quickie pun.
    Devotions to Mr T and many thanks to Pommers – please say hi to Pommette. Enjoyed the blast from the past with The Overtones.

    BTW I’d back the recommendations to give the Stick Insect a whirl in the Toughie slot – quite a morale booster!

    1. Do I remember that Stick Insect is one of our female setters? I may see you later on the dark side Jane.

  17. Can someone explain why “kind of light” in 10a gives the answer? I just don’t get it. Thanks all.

      1. Thanks. There was only one word which can be translated to really but had not heard of the type of light! Stupid of me to get stuck on this one only. I have circled 4 d and 26 a and 1a which took me an inordinate length of time but worth it when the penny dropped! I was trying to fit in boar.

    1. I assume Graham that the kind of light is a flare or very, which is usually fired from a very pistol.

  18. For me, quite straightforward, completed at a gallop, and very enjoyable – 1.5*/3*.

    Standout favourite 9a.

    Thanks to the RayT and pommers.

  19. Are, thanks. Now that I type “Very light” into the free dictionary it does explain it. I’ve still got 6 to do in the NE corner but haven’t given up yet. Tough couple of days!

    1. Something to store in the memory bank – not the first time the ‘light’ type of clue has been used for very.

  20. I finished my first Ray-T puzzle unaided, but I can’t say that I enjoyed it. I find the wordplay very difficult to follow, and it was a bit like doing a 15×15 version of the quickie. Identify the definition and try and find a synonym.
    Perhaps Ray-T is something I will grow into, but at at the moment, they are a bit of a drudge.
    That said, I though there were a few very good clues, 1a was an excellent lurker.
    Now to go through the hints and try and make sense of all the answers that I could not parse.
    Many thanks Pommers and Ray-T.
    Some have said the Toughie is ok today, I have heard that one before, but I shall give it a go.

    1. Please don’t give up on the Ray T offerings – his concise clues are the trademark that puts him head and shoulders above many other setters (in my opinion, at least!).

      1. Absolutely! – Ray T is by far the best back-page setter (despite using “sweetheart” nearly every other week).

  21. Just come back from shopping to find I’ve got the Quickie pun wrong. Without the paper I’ve no way of knowing how many words it is and the two words seemed to work. I can add the third word but I’ve no idea how it works.

      1. Strange Quickie pun, I too thought that it would be derived from the three across clues to arrive at a solution of no idea-or no wider ?

  22. Got there in the end. All fair and I learned some new words. Thanks again for the parsing of 10a. I suppose “electric”, “laser”, “circularly polarized”, “christmas” and “ultra violet” etc would all have been acceptable answers to “kind of light”!

  23. The usual enjoyable tussle to prise out Mr Terrell’s alternate Thursday gems, although this one I thought was less tricky than many we’ve seen.

    My ticks went to 17a, 25a, 1d and 3d.

    Thanks to RayT and to Pommers.

  24. Very enjoyable workout but …. I really don’t like the answer to 25a. Diminutives (or nicknames?) seem a bit of a stretch. Some really good clues otherwise so thanks to the setter and to pommers for the explanations.

  25. After beguiling us with a series of relatively easy puzzles the setters have like the weather decided to turn more challenging this week. This gave me a good work out. 1d was my last one in and 1a my favourite

  26. I thought this was on the gentler side of a Ray T. I did need the blog to explain some clues but I got the correct answers nevertheless. One thing though, what has Push got to do with Elbow?
    Strangely I really enjoyed this puzzle.
    Thx to All

  27. Truce! I gave up with too many unsolved. I just cannot get on RayT’s wavelength.
    Of those I did solve, 22d was my fave with 9a the runner up.
    Thanks to RayT and to pommers for his hints, much needed today.

    We’re having rain of biblical proportions today. My pool has overflowed, and it’s not done yet.

    1. We has hardly any rain here Merusa, hardly enough to make a few puddles. Stood in line at the mall behind a mother and small daughter who was so excited to be buying some shiny pink wellies, no doubt for those puddles ☺️

  28. ***/***
    Can’t decipher this compiler’s wave-length ! completed unaided but with a big struggle and not very much enjoyment. Apologies to author ! 9a very clever ; echo of Shylock being spat upon…….

  29. Evening all. Many thanks to pommers for the review and to everybody else for your very welcome comments.


  30. My day is complete I have solved a Ray T before sundown(ers)🍷***/*** 😃 Favourites 14a (good old Countdown word) 😜, 1d & 8d. Thanks to Pommers and to Ray T

  31. A top quality puzzle once again from RayT. As always I enjoy going back over the clues once I have finished solving so I can appreciate the subtleties of the surface reading. I do this while I am checking the number of words in each clue to make sure there are no more than eight. All good fun.
    Thanks RayT and pommers.

  32. Phew! 😨 I found that a real struggle. Gave up this morning but a return to it this evening was a bit more successful however I can’t believe I actually completed but have to admit that wasn’t without much assistance particularly in the North half. 10a new one on me. Missed the lurker in 1a whilst working on pork. Thank you pommers for your help and RayT for a challenging workout although it wasn’t really up my street.

  33. An enjoyable challenge, well into **** time here. Last in the unknown light at 10ac and 1d.

  34. A 3 *** Ray T, enough said. My attempt was pathetic at best, but obviously a wavelength thing ‘cos when I read Pommers hints nothing seemed that difficult. Hope I do better tomorrow. I think I said that yesterday though.

  35. Too late really to comment now but I’ve been in London all day with the Elder Lamb – couldn’t resist a Ray T even at this hour.
    I thought it was quite difficult although I started off really well particularly with the top half.
    5d nearly finished me off completely – thought ‘pants’ was the anagram indicator and changed my my mind – couldn’t find the ‘vulgar expression’ for ages – it’s not very vulgar.
    I thought the bottom half was far more difficult than the top.
    Those of you who have never heard of 22a should pay more attention to the 2K’s blogs – they often say it’s cold and they’re going to 22a in front of the fire.
    Too many good clues to pick out any in particular although I did rather like 25a.
    Thanks to Ray T and to pommers – prefer the Billy Joel version of The Longest time.

    Re the Quickie Pun – “What do you call a deer with no eyes” No idea.
    “What do you call a deer with no eyes and no legs”? Still no idea.
    I’ll be off – it’s time I went to bed anyway . . .

  36. Not as late as me Kath. Been working on this off and on all day. Got there in the end but it was a struggle. Last two in were 18d and 25a. ****/****. Very enjoyable challenge with many good clues.

  37. This was about average for a Ray T, but well above average (again) compared to most other back-pagers. A decent challenge and very enjoyable. 3*/4*.

  38. That homophone in 9a always makes me think of inspector Clouseau.
    And that brought a nice smile.
    Tried to put an extra R in the middle of 11a which made me go a bit over the grid. Oops.
    Favourite 7a.
    Thanks to RayT and to pommers.

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