DT 28574 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28574

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28574

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty **/***Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone. I’m sure this is a Ray T crossword – the first one for what seems like a long time. It had most of his trademark clues and I thought it was somewhere in the middle of his range of difficulty.

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are under the ANSWER buttons so only do that if you want to see one.

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


1a            Goes over river expanse capsizing (6)
RECAPS — Start off with the one letter for R(iver) and follow that with a reversal (capsizing) of an expanse or stretch.

4a            Heckles a bishop in seconds (8)
BARRACKS — The A from the clue and the two letter abbreviation for a bishop, R(ight) R(everend), go inside (in) seconds or supports.

9a            Guard dispatched by railway (6)
SENTRY — A synonym for dispatched or posted is followed by the two letter abbreviation for a railway.

10a         City over in Europe’s less urbanised (8)
BRUSSELS — Our first lurker or hidden answer indicated by IN – it’s also reversed which is indicated by OVER.

11a         Confound, so a hint’s in order (8)
ASTONISH — An anagram (in order) of SO A HINT’S.

13a         Tenant not so level periodically (6)
LESSEE — A word meaning not so, or not as much as, is followed by the alternate letters (periodically) of level.

15a         Simple routine upset about including new start (13)
UNPRETENTIOUS — An anagram (about) of ROUTINE UPSET and (including) the first letter (start) of New.

18a         Tireless debating if ale is drunk (13)
INDEFATIGABLE — Another anagram (is drunk) of DEBATING IF ALE.

22a         Authority of old people holding line (6)
ORACLE — The one letter meaning O(ld) is followed by people or tribe which contains (holding) L(ine).

24a         Name jerk admitting single currency is unstable (8)
NEUROTIC — The single currency in Europe goes inside (admitting) the one letter abbreviation for N(ame) and a jerk or twitch.

26a         One dines on one’s own! (8)
CANNIBAL — Someone eating another person (one’s own). Jolly tricky to do a hint for this one and having hunted for a picture I decided against an illustration!

27a         Bore in scrap round end of bar (6)
PIERCE — A scrap or fragment which contains (round) the last letter (end of) baR.

28a         Blow from wind is astern (8)
DISASTER — A nice bit of misdirection here – this ‘blow’ is nothing to do with wind, it’s a disappointment – and it’s our second hidden answer indicated by ‘from’.

29a         Begin reading only without serious effort initially (6)
BROWSE — A Ray T special – the first letters (initially) of the rest of the words of the clue.



1d            Artist’s style almost becoming rogue (6)
RASCAL — The usual two letters for an artist, not forgetting the ‘S, are followed by a four letter word for style or designate without its final letter (almost). I had trouble with this one – I can’t make style = the word we need and neither can I find it in the BRB although both words are interchangeable in the thesaurus.

2d            Understood criminal’s genuine, touching judge’s heart (9)
CONSTRUED — One of the usual crosswordland criminals, with the ‘S, is followed by genuine or authentic and finally the middle letter (heart) of judge.

3d            Vegetable crop is below standard (7)
PARSNIP — A synonym for crop or shorten follows (is below) a word meaning standard or norm.

5d            Queen about to lift port by the Med (4)
ACRE — The usual two letters for our Queen and another two letters which are the abbreviation for the latin word meaning about and then reverse the lot (to lift).

6d            Most optimistic with one’s love rising during sleep (7)
ROSIEST — A word meaning sleep or a bit of peace and quiet contains (during) a reversal (rising) of the letter that looks like a one, with the ‘S, and the letter that looks like a love score in tennis.

7d            Battle on board revolutionary ship (5)
CHESS — The first name of crosswordland’s favourite revolutionary is followed by the two letter abbreviation for S(team) S(hip).

8d            Uncertainty of Sun’s leader writers in employ (8)
SUSPENSE — The first letter (leader) of S(un) is followed by a synonym for employ or utilise which contains (in) some things used to write with (writers).

12d         Sniffs out small change in France (6)
SCENTS — S(mall) is followed by some coins in France, or anywhere else in Europe.

14d         The French fever for Union (6)
LEAGUE — The French definite article is followed by an old word for a fever or fit of shivering.

16d         Upset seeing husband in public squabble (9)
OVERTHROW — A word that means public or open and another one for a squabble or argument with the one letter abbreviation for H(usband) in between them (in).

17d         Fell embracing fabulous creature getting separated (8)
DIVORCED — A synonym for fell or plunged contains (embracing) a mythological fierce sea-monster (fabulous creature).

19d         Bolts securing practically ancient buildings (7)
FOLLIES — Another word for bolts or escapes contains (securing) most of (practically) a little word meaning ancient.

20d         Simpler to accept this compiler’s turning crazier (7)
BARMIER — A synonym for simpler or less ornate contains (to accept) a reversal (turning) of how the setter might say he is.

21d         Southern church concealing fringe programme (6)
SCHEME — Begin with the one letter abbreviation for S(outhern) and follow that with a two letter abbreviation for church which contains (concealing) a fringe or an edge.

23d         Provokes having first cut relations (5)
AUNTS — Provokes or teases without its first letter (first cut).

25d         Nude apart from last item of costume (4)
BARE – Apart from or except (for) is followed by the last letter (last item of) costume.

I liked 15a and 3 and 16d. My favourite was 26a because it made me laugh.


68 comments on “DT 28574

  1. A cracking puzzle to get the morning underway. 26a was my last one in and my favourite, although several clues came close. I also really enjoyed 7d and the rekrul at 10a. Overall 2.5* /4* with many thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  2. Reasonably straightforward, very enjoyable, and completed at a gallop – **/***.

    Candidates for favourite – 4a, 24a, and 1d – and the winner is 4a for the succinctness of the clue.

    Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

    1. Well, well well – what wonderful wordplay. Well done Dutch – very clever and very enjoyable.
      Gets the thumbs up from me, too.

    2. I’m sorry to be late in posting, but I hugely enjoyed this. Congratulations – and thanks for giving us the link.

  3. Good morning everybody.

    Decent puzzle. Made things harder for myself by intially writing in 11a at 10a! Liked 24a, 26a, 19d. Nice lurker 28a, and backwards one at 10a. Good acronym at 29a. Had to take a flyer on 5d as I dodn’t know of the place. Didn’t understand derivation of 25d. Last in was 27a.


  4. At last! We have a Ray T puzzle back on a Thursday, and very good it is too! 2* / 4*.

    My short list of candidate favourites is: 10a; 18a (one of my favourite words, which coincidentally I used to describe Miffypops yesterday!); 26a & 16d.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

  5. I enjoyed most of this but needed the hints to explain some of Ray Ts more off the wall clues. Really liked 26a which made me smile and Mrs B laugh.
    Let’s hope that tomorrow’s Giovanni is an improvement on last weeks horror.
    Thx to Mr T whose puzzles I am beginning to understand (at last!) and enjoy and for the hints.

  6. Lots to like especially 26A which reminded me of the old joke of a cannibal going on a self catering holiday! Many thanks to the setter & Kath for her review.

  7. Nearly completed in *** time, but with two missing. Should have been able to see 22a, but couldn’t. Does 27a really mean ‘bore’? I associate 27a with a short thrust whereas ‘bore’ is a long twisting motion.

    Still, good fun overall. COTD 26a, just because.

    Many thanks to Ray T. and Kath.

    Now, where’s that sun we were promised. I need to get this lawn cut.

    1. I thought of leaf & wood boring insects and grubs. In that sense, the two are synonymous.

  8. A nice friendly Mr T, although I will admit to having to mutter and alphabet trawl a bit in the SW corner.

    Thanks to him and Kath too

  9. Very good as usual for RayT. I particularly liked 10a, to choose just one. Nicely hidden! Many thanks to Kath and to RayT (assuming he’s the setter).

    1. It is a safe assumption.. no clue more than eight letters long. A reference to The Queen. An initial letter clue. A reverse lurker. All clues in the Toughie single words. All answers in the cryptic single words. Ray T to a tee

  10. Another great puzzle from the King of Lurkage. I thought that 10 was brilliant. So many interesting clues with the 2 long anagrams having great surface readings 26 was last in with a long and protracted guffaw and 7 was also cleverly clued. These were closely followed by 17, 19, 22 and 23. Many thanks to RayT and to Kath for the write up.

  11. Top half **, bottom half ***, so a 2.5 difficulty with a **** enjoyment factor.
    I note that 18a was one of R D ‘s favourite words-smacks of the Raj ! – I’m sure it was also the name of a battleship.
    Anyway, held up by 17d as I wanted to put ROC in somewhere until 22a made me think of ORC -did this creature predate Tolkiens wonderful creations ?
    Yet another excellent reverse lurker-my D’oh moment.
    Well clued throughout-thanks Kath and Ray T.

    1. 18a – There have been at least three ships of this name, a frigate, a cruiser and a carrier. Affectionately known as the Indy.

  12. Daddy Cannibal and his son and daughter, Master Cannibal and Miss Cannibal were out for a walk in the woods one day when they saw a beautiful young woman running naked through the trees just ahead of them. The young cannibals were completely entranced and said to their Daddy, “Oh look – isn’t she lovely – can we take her home and eat her?” He replied, “We’ll certainly take her home but I think we’ll eat Mum instead.”
    I’ll get my coat . . .

    1. … or the cannibal who couldn’t attend a ‘bring your own’ dinner party – he had no body to go with.

  13. Did this in public which always slows me down. I’d still say that it was a touch harder than average, or about RayT at normal strength. [I usually use this kind of wording rather than stars, but will point out that this would equate to at least three of them. I’m just a little discouraged that not everybody seems to have taken on board the findings of the second survey.]

    I started encouragingly well in the NW, and finished up in the NE, having a little trouble with authority (22a) on the way. Will also admit that I spent a while wondering how SS could possibly be France (12d). Silly!

    My biggest laugh was at the person dining on their own at table 26a.

    Many thanks to RayT and Kath.

  14. Great puzzle. Thanks RayT. The SW Corner held me up somewhat. Thanks to Kath for the excellent blog. Modern day cannibals order a pizza and eat the delivery man

  15. This seemed to me to be much too straight forward to be a ‘genuine’ Ray T – couple of gentle lurkers, several user friendly anagrams, embellished with at least two familiar chestnuts [7d and 26a, unless I’m very much mistaken] – and only one (sort of) innuendo!! Enjoyable solve, agree with Kath’s ** rating. Couldn’t decide on any clear favourite.

  16. Super puzzle with many clever clues. All went in fairly plain sailing but I got well hung up by the SW corner until the penny suddenly dropped for 26a, after that, all fell into place. 2.5/4. I liked 22a, 28a (well-hidden – from me, anyway), 17d and 19d with 26a in first position. It’s been a good week, so far.

  17. This completes a hat trick of puzzles I have had a fair old tussle with this week but have managed to complete. 19a was the last to fall and only after I managed to spot the lurker in 28a. 26a made me smile and is my top clue. My thanks to the 18a reviewer for the excellent blog.

  18. On the benign side for a RayT we were thinking, until we got to the SW corner which was a bit tricky. So because of that it’s ***/**** from us.
    Fav was either 29a or the cannibal clue, can’t decide.

    Thanks to RayT and Kath.

    Re 1d, Collins on-line has “to style” defined as “to name or call; designate”. “to style the man a fool”. Took ages for the penny to drop on that bit although the answer was pretty clear.

  19. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the review and hints. A super puzzle, welcome back Ray T! Needed the hints to parse 1d, presumably if you style something, you call it? I liked 28&29a&10d, but my favourite was 26a which made laugh out loud. Was 2 ✳ /4 ✳ for me.

  20. I did quite well, considering! I only had about seven unsolved, so it has to be RayT at his most benign.
    One of the ones I didn’t get was the splendid 26a, wotta giggle, it’s my fave.
    I can’t stop to try any more, I have a dental appointment, don’t know which is more fun.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath for unravelling that lot.

  21. All good, 11a amused me as well as 26a. Think the hint for 5d could need a tweak?
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath for the review.

      1. I might be being dim – but (not having a paper) is it acre, acra or Accra? Confused. The wordplay makes acre, but I can’t find a port in the Med with that name.

          1. The alt tag says ‘Acra’ on hovering, that’s what made me think of Accra and doubt myself.
            Have found the port city of Acre in Israel now, thanks.

            1. You’re absolutely right, it does – my fault – sorry.
              And there I was thinking that I’d managed to do a set of hints without any mistakes – damn. :oops:

                1. The work you all put in to make the blog the a success is remarkable and very much appreciated by everyone, lurkers and regulars alike. Not a criticism by any means, I’m just pedantic, under-educated and plain old dim at times.

  22. Definitely towards the easier end of the RayT spectrum, but there were still a few head-scratchers.

    My top three clues were 24a, 26a and 7d.

    Many thanks to Mr Terrell (good to have you back on backpage duty) and to Kath.

    1. I thought you were going to refrain from referring to given names? EC will be on your case! :smile:

  23. I haven’t left a comment before as by the time I have finished everyone would be in bed😳

    1. Welcome from me too, Willgetthereoneday.

      BD is right. No matter when you post, it’s very likely that somebody somewhere in the world will be reading the blog. In addition, we know that back-page blogs are viewed hundreds of times on the day after they are published. A late comment is still valuable.

  24. Very enjoyable, though several answers that I could not fully parse, so looking forward to going through the hints.
    I am getting the hang of Ray-T finally.
    Thanks Kath and Ray

  25. Welcome back Ray T 😬 ****/**** Really clever crossword finished up North but ran aground in SW needing Kath’s Hints for 23d and 26a which are two of the best 😃 Thanks to all concerned especially To Kath for the cannibal joke 🤗

  26. I thought this was quite difficult throughout. Perhaps I’ve just got out of the habit of solving RayT puzzles. :-)

  27. Evening all. Apologies for the tardiness but I had some problems connecting. Anyway, many thanks to Kath and to all for your comments.


    1. Thank you for calling in – it is, as always, appreciated by everyone particularly when there’s been trouble connecting and a spot of ‘perseveration’ has been needed.

  28. I had some problems connecting to the site too – ‘Bad Gateway’ was the message, and it seemed to imply that the Bigdave Server was down or non-contactable.

    Anyway, I’m on now. I enjoyed this puzzle, there were a couple of unfathomable clues but the letters meant I could take a stab at what the answer was. A couple of outstanding anagrams. It seems to me that a strong giveaway for Ray T puzzles is the invariable absence of multi-word clues.

    Very enjoyable!

  29. Interesting that 3d was in the Guardian the day before as “root base rate cut”. Same idea but harder because “root” and “base rate” are that much further away from “vegetable” and “average”.

  30. About average for a Ray T production, therefore above average compared generally to most others back-pagers. A reasonable challenge, great clues and very enjoyable from my favourite setter. 3* / 4*.

  31. 17 down is a cheat:
    a) dive is not fall in common parlance since dive connotes something deliberate and fall does not
    b) orca is a killer whale and not mythogical but orc is absolutely known as a mythological humanoid not sea monster
    c) divorced is in law distinct and different from separated

    Ok one or two little errors.but three?

    1. It is advisable to check a dictionary and/or thesaurus like Chambers before denouncing a clue:
      a) Chambers Thesaurus gives the following synonyms for dive: plunge, jump, plummet, dip, submerge, leap, nose-dive, fall, drop, swoop, descend, go down/under, pitch, duck, sound
      b) Chambers Dictionary defines orc as: 1.A killer whale or orca; 2.A fierce sea-monster (mythology); 3.An ogre (Tolkien)
      c) Divorced does not have to be thought of as a legal term. Chambers Dictionary gives: 1.To dissolve the marriage of; 2.To give or obtain a divorce (to a couple or one’s spouse, or from one’s spouse); 3.To separate, sever

      Please don’t impose your narrow vocabulary on the setter – it is better to widen your vocabulary.

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