DT 28561 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28561

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28561

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone. This is the first of a few Wednesdays that the Kiwis are off on their travels so you’ll be having a different ‘hinty person’ each week – it feels like quite a responsibility to me so I’ll try not to let them down. I really hope they’re having a wonderful time and enjoying seeing their family in India. Today we have the usual very enjoyable crossword from Jay.

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under the thingies that say ANSWER so only do that if you need to see one.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.


1a            No-nonsense police raid follows riot, ignoring regulars (6)
ROBUST — An American word for a police raid goes after (following) the odd letters (ignoring regulars) of RiOt.

4a            Note amends books seen in church (8)
PSALTERS — The note here is the two letters you might write at the end of a letter to add something you’d forgotten to say and they’re followed by a word meaning amends or changes.

10a         Shame of this person wrapped in shroud on getting busted (9)
DISHONOUR — An anagram (busted) of SHROUD ON which contains (wrapped in) the one letter for how the setter (this person) might refer to himself.

11a         Copy line seen in feature of roadworks (5)
CLONE — The abbreviation for L(ine) goes inside (seen in) one of the wretched things that mark off areas where there may, or may not be, men working in the road.

12a         Might this identify a Royal Marines troop? (7)
ARMBAND — The A from the clue and the abbreviation for R(oyal) M(arines) are followed by a troop or gang.

13a         Encourage popular part of church (7)
INSPIRE — Our usual little crosswordland word for popular is followed by the pointy thing at the top of a church.

14a         Line dance music on game shows (5)
CONGA — Our first lurker or hidden answer which is indicated by the word ‘shows’ – it’s hiding in the third to fifth words of the clue.

15a         Try twice to get acclaim (4,4)
HEAR HEAR — A verb to try in a court of law is followed by the same word – try twice.

18a         Photographs fail to be entered in competitions (5-3)
CLOSE-UPS — A word meaning fail or not win goes inside (to be entered) some competitions – I always think this is a funny way of referring to them as really they’re the prize, aren’t they?

20a         King wearing small child’s hat (5)
MITRE — A small child or tot contains (wearing) the one letter abbreviation for the Latin word for king.

23a         Knocked sharply on front of this, cornered (7)
TRAPPED — The first letter (front of) T(his) is followed by (on) a word that means knocked sharply, on a front door maybe.

25a         Take off, seeing Italian grabbed by single pal (7)
IMITATE — The letter that looks like the Roman number one (single) is followed by a pal or chum which contains (grabbed by) the two letter abbreviation for IT(alian).

26a         Prospect of victory, as it falls (5)
VISTA — V(ictory) and then anagram (falls) of AS IT.

27a         Drops measuring equipment (4,5)
RAIN GAUGE — The ‘drops’ is the wet stuff that falls from clouds. I started off with the wrong second word – I wonder if I was the only one to do that.

28a         Stars head off for shelter (8)
SUNSHADE — Some stars, the kind around which planets revolve, precede an anagram (off) of HEAD.

29a         Enthusiastic study in painting (6)
ARDENT — A study or office goes inside (in) a painting or a picture.



1d            Artist steps around one for light (8)
RADIANCE — The usual two letters used to mean an artist are followed by some steps, the kind that are done to music, which contain the letter that looks like a one.

2d            Match commentator? (4,3)
BEST MAN — This match is a wedding.

3d            Tug on a path to intercept ship’s freeloaders? (9)
STOWAWAYS — The abbreviation for S(team) S(hip) goes round (to intercept) a verb to tug or pull, the A from the clue and a path or road.

5d            Alcohol providing morale in the theatre? (8,6)
SURGICAL SPIRIT — This kind of theatre is in a hospital.

6d            Beats speed speaking without coming to a climax (5)
LICKS — A slang word for speed as in, “He was going at a hell of a **** when he crashed his car” is followed by S(peaking) – ie without the rest of the word (without coming to a climax.) Oh dear – this one caused grief, a lot of it – the answer had to be what it is but I just couldn’t see why for ages.

7d            Art form mounting tacit or easy displays (7)
EROTICA — Our second lurker or hidden answer indicated by displays but this time, just to complicate things, it’s also reversed (mounting) in the clue.

8d            Country garden linked with the Cornwall area (6)
SWEDEN — The two letters for the part of the UK which includes Cornwall are followed by (linked with) a garden – not just any old garden but the one in the Bible where Adam and Eve got up to no good.

9d            Ignored Conservative with elderly bore (4-10)
COLD-SHOULDERED — Begin with the one letter for C(onservative) and then elderly or aged – follow that with a word that means bore or carried.

16d         Lulu’s thirst absorbing doctor and the writer (9)
HUMDINGER — A thirst or appetite contains (absorbing) one of the many two letters used for a doctor – not GP or DR so keep thinking – and the way the setter (writer) would refer to himself.

17d         Torn about always being respectful (8)
REVERENT — Torn or split contains (about) a word that means always or eternally.

19d         Back trouble in so stormy an affair (7)
LIAISON — A reversal (back) of a word meaning trouble or afflict is followed by an anagram (stormy) of IN SO.

21d         Malign deal protecting University College (7)
TRADUCE — Deal or do business with containing (protecting) U(niversity) C(ollege).

22d         Music bars will need refurbished seats to muffle volume (6)
STAVES — An anagram (refurbished) of SEATS around (to muffle) V(olume).

24d         Fruit and veg needed by church (5)
PEACH —A vegetable that comes in pods is followed by one of the abbreviations for church – not that I think anyone will need a hint for this one.

I liked 12a and 9 and 16d. My favourite was 5d.

The Quickie pun:- EYES + SORE  + QUAY  = ICE HOCKEY

96 comments on “DT 28561

  1. Well, less than double digits completed on the first pass through. I had to put the paper down and put the kettle on.

    After suitable refreshment, I tried again and it started to come together. By the time I had solved 2d, I had decided I really didn’t like this one. Struggled with some of the parsing; why the “speaking” in 6d? (Thanks Kath) and I had never heard of that meaning of Lulu in 16d.

    Finished in *** time but can’t say I enjoyed it.

    Sorry to the Jay and thanks to Kath.

  2. Went well today after a hesitant start. I thought 14a was an oustanding clue, with such an elegant surface and solution. 16d made me smile – took me some while of bafflement working out who Lulu could possibly be.
    Many thanks to Kath and the setter.

        1. I’ve played golf with people over the years who, on seeing a superb shot would say “oh, that’s a lulu”. I’ve no idea where it came from, but it stuck in my mind from 40 years ago.

    1. LULU.
      A remarkable or wonderful person or thing; frequently used ironically

      HUMDINGER. A remarkable or outstanding person or thing, anything of notable excellence

      I think it will be the same in your dictionaries

      1. Yes, MP – thanks for standing in for me – I should have sorted all this out but have rather had ‘one of those days’. Perhaps I should have given a more detailed hint for 16d since it seems to have caused trouble.

        1. Definition underlined. Check. Wordplay explained. Check. All seems ok to me Kath. If the answer leads to further investigation so be it.

  3. 3/5. The usual excellence from Jay (despite 7d’s iffy surface). The interlinked 20a & 21d were my last two in and took quite a bit of cogitation.

    My podium spots today go to 27a & 22d with 16d in first place.

    Many thanks to Jay and a different 1K to normal.

    1. P.S. I didn’t mean to imply you’re not normal, Kath :wink:
      P.P.S. In the paper the first three clues in the Quickie are italicised.
      P.P.P.S. It’s becoming increasingly tough to locate the Toughie in the paper because they keep moving it around.

        1. Easy way to the Toughie in the paper. Front page, bottom left, “Contents” box, “Puzzles”. Done.

          1. Thanks, Malcolm. Even after many, many years of reading the Telegraph I’d never noticed that!

          2. Well I never, just shows how unobservant we are.
            I bet most of you did not know that if you look at the petrol pump symbol on the gauge in your car, then the side the filler nozzle is shown on the pump symbol is the side of the car where the filler cap is located.

            1. I only discovered that on the petrol pump symbol a few weeks ago. I will not tell you how long I have been driving…….

            2. I’m totally unobservant but I did know that – think I must have heard it on the radio at some stage. Presumably it’s only important when driving an unfamiliar car as even I know which side the stuff goes into my car.

      1. It’s even more difficult trying to find it on the electronic version. Given the rubbish they do include, I wonder why the DT thinks the Toughie not worth it.

        1. Brian just click on contents in top right hand corner and scroll along, puzzles are often at the end of the list.

  4. I wish I knew how to spell ‘gauge’ – I always get the ‘u’ and ‘a’ the wrong way round!!

    6d, 16d and 21d all gave me grief – I found this difficult and got hung up on these three shockers!

    16d was particularly baffling – to me anyway!

      1. Well, the Chambers organisation thinks so. The LRB entries include the other, and both BRB entries include ‘desire for anything’ as part of the definition.

        1. She came from Greece
          She had a thirst for knowledge
          She studied sculpture at Saint Martins College
          That’s where I
          Caught her eye
          She told me that her dad was loaded
          I said, “Well, in that case I’ll have a rum and Coca-Cola”
          She said, “Fine”
          And then in thirty seconds’ time, she said
          “I want to live like common people
          I want to do whatever common people do
          I want to sleep with common people
          I want to sleep with common people like you.”
          Well, what else could I do?
          I said “Oh, I’ll see what I can do.”

          Dodgy dancing vid


          1. A song that gets better and better as it goes along and just when it cannot possibly get any better it just does lifting itself into the stratosphere

    1. I can’t tell you how long it took to solve 21d until I decided to revisit 27a and check the spelling. Grrrr.

  5. Good morning everybody.

    Very nice puzzle. Favourites 3d, 20a. Didn’t really understand the rationale for 6a but stuck it in anyway.


  6. I also misspelt GAUGE, soon corrected.

    I wasn’t at all sure about 6d, thanks very much for explaining that one Kath

    I really liked 2d, 14a and 22d

    Many thanks Jay.

  7. Hello everyone – I’ve screwed up. The Quickie Pun is all wrong – really sorry.
    It’s three words but I didn’t have the paper so just saw the first two answers that made sense.
    I’ve just tried to change it but failed dismally – damn – it was all going quite well . . .

    1. I too stopped at the first two words Kath. I should have known better as Jay always stretches our imagination. CS sometimes emails me on Mondays if it is more than two words as we don’t get italics online.

      1. If CS had had a chance to look at the paper before 12.45 today, and she could remember who was blogging today, she might have emailed, but she’s been too busy running a Wear it Pink cake event.

        Interestingly solving the puzzles at lunchtime rather than first thing in the morning seems to make them trickier -perhaps it is just that I am tired

  8. Another Jay masterpiece, straightforward, very enjoyable, and completed at a gallop – 1.5/4.5.

    Candidates for favourite – 4a, 13a, 27a, 5d, 9d, and 16d – and the winner is – same as last week, I have no idea.

    Thanks to Jay and Kath.

  9. The usual steady solve taking extra passes than I would like before I am left with three or four to cogitate over. 1ac 20ac 6d And 16d. Thanks Kath for explaining 6d and 16d. I completely missed the lurker at 14ac too. Thanks to Jay for the puzzle. I am off to Toughieland now.

  10. Enjoyable crossword to solve. Thanks Jay and Kitty. I think in 6d, speaking without coming to a climax is without peaking, meaning coming to a climax

  11. A lovely puzzle that took me longer than normal for a Wednesday. I also had a spelling problem with GAUGE.

    Many thanks to Jay, and to Kath.

  12. The well-hidden lurker at 14a was my last entry in this tricky little puzzle from Jay. 5d proved to be my favourite of several candidates and overall it was 3/4 for me. This was another in an increasingly long line of very fine and enjoyable crosswords from Jay.

    Thanks to the aforementioned and to a Kath.

  13. Pleased to see that I’m not the only one who almost came unstuck over the spelling of the second word in 27a.
    Found most of this quite straightforward although, like Kath and others, it took me quite a while to sort out the workings of 6d.For some reason, 3d was the last to fall – think I’d got too hung up on ‘spongers’ and couldn’t see beyond that.

    Podium places today going to 27a plus 5,6,9&16d. Think 5d just has the edge.

    Thanks to Jay and to Kath for the overtime – you most certainly haven’t let down the 2Ks!

    1. Here’s a way I’ve conjured up that will help you how to remember the spelling of Gauge….. The indicator on the weather gAUGe goes up in AUGust.

    2. Well I misspelled the second word of 27a by bunging in meter at first. I see Kath did the same, so I feel much better about that. Correct on second go at least!

  14. I found this a bit tricky it was a match of two halves west going in quite easily, like many others I wish I could spell gauge.
    Put it down to advancing years.
    Thanks to Kath and to Jay

  15. I got 6d but didnt know why. Had to resort to your explanation. And who knew a “lulu” meant “humdinger”?
    I’m getting better at this!

  16. I didn’t have any problem spelling the second word of 27a – after all, ‘meter’ is really easy to spell! :roll: and oh dear – thankfully all the down clues in the bottom right corner sorted me out.

  17. Interesting solve today, excellent range of diverse clues from Jay, no obscure words and have to agree with Kath’s **/****.
    Favourite has to be the concise 14a-even though I initially missed the lurker !
    Thanks to Jay and Kath for the entertaining blog.

  18. 16d of a puzzle which I found a touch more difficult than the “hinty person”. Could someone explain what is the relevance of Lulu in 16d. The only Lulu I have heard of is a pop star of yesteryear but I don’t know any of her songs. Several great clues today but I liked the match commentator the most.

  19. 7 and 16d were my two favourites (sorry Kath!) in this lovely puzzle from Jay. Slow to get going but then things perked up and I finished quite quickly (for me).
    2/4* overall.
    Thanks to Jay, and to Kath for her review.

  20. Obviously not on Jay’s wavelength……found this very taxing.
    At least knew how to spell “GAUGE”. The Lulu connection still baffles me.

      1. Thanks BD. Have been following your blog since January, and have learnt so much – my success rate in solving has risen dramatically! Very happy!!

    1. Welcome! I’m still in the NHS.

      I got confused for a bit thinking it could be “fighting spirit” – as in morale in the theatre of war…

  21. After seeing “church” mentioned in three different clues I was almost tempted to check the calendar to see if it was actually a Giovanni Friday puzzle, but the remainder convinced me that it was another quality production from our Wednesday wizard.

    Top clues for me were 3d and 5d.

    Many thanks to Mr. Mutch and to Kath. I had a very pleasant walk by the Thames yesterday from Sandford Lock to Oxford, so I possibly wasn’t that far you geographically, Kath?

    1. You were certainly very close to us – I’m glad you had a nice walk – I love that bit of river but my favourite part of the Thames (Isis) is the one that runs through Port Meadow – such happy memories – I’ll give you list of them.
      1) Living down in that bit of Oxford (Jericho) in student nurse days and swimming home from the Trout one evening
      2) The river being flooded one year and then it all froze really hard and there were skaters everywhere
      3) Taking my lovely Collie, Annie (my little pic) for her first proper walk
      I could go on but that’s probably enough for now . . .

  22. Mostly went in with little problems. I got held up in the NE corner for a while and I spelt the second word of 27a wrongly at first like some of you. Equal gold medals for 4a and 16d for me. 2.5/4. Nice one Jay.

  23. One of those puzzles where it easier to get the answer than to solve the clue.
    For me 3/2 ( can’t seem to enter asterisks anymore)
    Thx to all

  24. Naturally I also misspelled gauge too.
    Some quite tricky ones , such as 4a and 16d.
    Thanks to Kath and Jay.

  25. I agree that Lulu really was a humdinger, especially when I saw her live in her younger years !!!! No agism , sexisms intended ! The top right hand corner tricky .Thanks to Kath and setter

  26. I found this one quite tough and needed lots of hints.

    I had heard of ‘Lulu’ i the context of 16d, but sadly have to add myself to the list of people unable to reliably spell gauge.

    Thanks to the setter and many thanks to Kath for the much needed hints.

  27. Largely enjoyable, much good stuff. I got stuck for two in the NE corner, natch, 6d and 11a. I never did solve them, and not surprised.
    I liked 4a, 5d, 9d and 22d, but fave is 16d, had no problem with lulu.
    Thanks to Jay, and well done, Kath, excellent blog for such a lulu of a puzzle.

  28. The usual Wednesday treat – bang on wavelength and very enjoyable.
    Many thanks to Jay and thanks for the blog, Kath. **/****

  29. Completed over breakfast before Kath was there for us but I then took my DT to an invalid I was visiting so am commenting from memory and can’t recall my Fav(s). I do remember that this was hugely enjoyable even having had to resort to multiple bung-ins. Lulu and humdinger baffled me. Thank you lots Jay and Kath.

  30. Other than problems with both my iPad and iPhone – and Lulu – this was an enjoyable challenge today, thanks to setter and Kath. I had several attempts at posting but couldn’t get even one line in. So I did the genius thing, and rebooted. Fingers crossed.

  31. I spent a long time staring at this and not getting anywhere, put it to one side for a bit, and then promptly polished it off in ** time. Works every time. :-) Last in 3d.

  32. I really struggled this evening. Blame it on a long day at work. Really needed your help. Big thanks.

  33. Only had time for a single crossword today. Glad it was this very enjoyable Jay, though.

    Last in was 6d because I wasn’t clear of on the wordplay — to me, without coming to a climax suggests stopping just before the end, not taking only the first bit.

    I loved the 22d well-upholstered music bars, My favourite was the line dance at 14a.

    Thanks to Jay and Kath for ably filling the 2Ks’ shoes with just a single K.

    (P.S. I think you’ve extended the underlining in 16d a smidge too far, but that’s easily done.)

    1. Re 6d – without ‘peaking’, Kitty – i.e. speaking without coming to a climax (peaking).
      Re underlining of 16d – tough – we all make minor mistakes.

      1. Ah yes — thanks for explaining 6d: I really like it now. It’s been a long day.

        Yep, we all make mistakes, as the one above — rather more major than yours — proves! That’s why I like the edit facility so much. :)

  34. Re 8d:
    UK readers may also note that Cornwall is home to the Eden Project, which makes the clue even neater.

    Admittedly I’m slightly biased as it’s a favourite place of mine 😀!

  35. Very satisfying. No hold-ups until 16d and 20a. Did get 16d without help once I forgot harbinger but had no idea why. Never heard of lulu (only the Scottish one) and not heard humdinger dice my mother died! Once I had this I had to forget tot for 20a and correct answer fell into place. My favourite was 8d. Thought very clever and nest( (partly because I was thinking of Eden near St Austell). Other favourite was 4a. Thanks Jay and Kath. Re 6d I got the s(peaking) part of the clue but not really the rest of it.

  36. K. 18a: I refer to your italicised question – I find these semantical nuances very interesting. Cups are prizes that can be won of course, but “cup” is also used as an abbreviation to refer to a particular competition. As in “City play United in the Cup tonight”. Which is much easier to say than “City play United in the FA Challenge Cup competition tonight”.

  37. How bizarre. I’m normally able to polish off a DT in about ***** or so, but this is the first time I’ve ever come across a puzzle where not a single clue yielded itself. I’ve often found this setter a bit on the abstruse side however. I’ll try to find a setter more on my wavelength I guess. Thanks for the assistance – MUCH required for this one I’m afraid!

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