DT 28585 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28585

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28585

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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


Kia ora from Aotearoa.                
The seasons here changed while we were away in India. When we left everything was still very wet after an exceptionally damp winter. We came home to early summer conditions with some areas even looking quite dry. All very strange. At least we can now do our regular walks without wearing coats and having to dodge puddles.

Last week BusyLizzie asked about Shimla (or Simla) so we have added a couple of our pics at the bottom of the hints. A fascinating place to visit.

Jay once again has given us a good fun puzzle. We were sailing along with the solving until we came to three or four clues towards the bottom of the grid that put up more of a fight.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     People in the same company shifting blame among countries (11)
STABLEMATES : Another word for countries or nations contains an anagram (shifting) of BLAME.

9a     A phone that is right for artist’s studio (7)
ATELIER : ‘A’ from the clue, then a three letter abbreviation for a telephone number, the two letters derived from Latin signifying ‘that is’, and the abbreviation for right.

10a     Cold beer like this is rough! (6)
CHOPPY : The letter that signifies cold on a tap, then a characteristic of beer that it gets from a flavouring additive.

12a     Court official to suffer in strike (7)
BAILIFF : An informal word meaning to strike or hit contains a three letter word meaning to suffer.

13a     Building horrendous deficit mostly with the west of Europe (7)
EDIFICE : An anagram (horrendous) of DEFICIt with the final ‘t’ removed and then the initial letter (west) of Europe.

14a     River flowing west through 26 wanting attention (5)
NEEDY : The abbreviation for the place that is the answer to 26a surrounds the reversal of crossword’s favourite alphabetical river.

15a     Worry about god’s creature of burden (9)
CARTHORSE : A Norse god with his possessive ‘S’ is inside a word for a worry.

17a     Beaten by one minute and seized (9)
IMPOUNDED : The Roman numeral one, then the abbreviation for minute and a word meaning repeatedly beaten.

20a     Stag full of energy and courage (5)
HEART : A word for a stag used (generally with the adjective white) in numerous hotel names, contains the abbreviation for energy.

22a     Confronts son during exam retakes (7)
RESISTS : The abbreviation for son is inside exam retakes.

24a     Kingdom of leather (7)
MOROCCO : This kingdom is in North Africa.

25a     More than enough as storage for gas (6)
ETHANE : A lurker hiding in the first three words of the clue.

26a     City of north-east with unknown number in Labour (3,4)
NEW YORK : North-east expressed as two letters and then a mathematical unknown number is inside a word for labour or toil.

27a     Classified line of business? (11)
ADVERTISING : A cryptic description of commercial columns found in a newspaper.


2d     Group of three attempt to kidnap popular Italian (7)
TRINITY : A two letter word meaning popular and the abbreviation for Italian as a language are inside a short word meaning attempt.

3d     Graduate teacher snaffles damaged carafe, showing no shame (9)
BAREFACED : The bachelor’s degree that a teacher might hold surrounds (snaffles) an anagram (damaged) of CARAFE.

4d     Team schemer regularly sees host (5)
EMCEE : Start with the second letter of team and then select every following second letter.

5d     Get rid of sailor from Poland lacking origin (7)
ABOLISH : The two letters for an able-bodied seaman and then the adjective meaning from Poland loses its initial letter.

6d     English politician has level that’s comparatively vacuous (7)
EMPTIER : The abbreviations for English and a member of parliament are followed by a level, or perhaps, storey.

7d     Vehicle on burning heap full of black material (6,5)
CARBON FIBRE : A three letter vehicle and then a burning heap that might be seen on 5th of November contains the abbreviation for black.

8d     Instrument of French iniquity (6)
DEVICE : The French word for ‘of’ and then iniquity or sin.

11d     Operate with risk in order to make political restructuring (11)
PERESTROIKA : An anagram ( in order) of OPERATE and RISK.

16d     Basic principles of game obscure — sent off! (9)
RUDIMENTS : New Zealand’s national game, then a word meaning obscure and an anagram (off) of SENT.

18d     Submitted, being dispatched across Italy (7)
POSITED : A word meaning dispatched, probably by mail, includes the IVR code for Italy.

19d     Puts off a void game to steal the limelight (7)
UPSTAGE : An anagram (off) of PUTS, then ‘A’ from the clue and the first and last letters (void) of game.

20d     Presently on the up, supporting firm secured by industry (4-3)
HARD-WON : A word meaning presently is reversed and is found underneath (supporting) a word meaning firm or solid.

21d     Without taking sides, fancy short TV presenter (6)
ANCHOR : Remove the first and last letters from the fourth and fifth words in the clue.

23d     Wheat‘s second skin? (5)
SPELT : The abbreviation for second and an animal skin gives us this inferior species of wheat grown in the mountainous regions of Europe.

We especially liked 11d and 21d, both of which caused us quite a bit of beak scratching.

Quickie pun      thumb    +    mine    +     sigh     =       the mind’s eye

44 comments on “DT 28585

  1. 3* / 5*. Jay continues his consistent brilliancy week after week! I agree with the 2Ks that a few clues at the bottom put up the most fight. On my podium today as the best of the best are 26a, 7d & 11d.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  2. 21d my favourite in this excellent Jay puzzle, although the well-disguised lurker at 25a came a close second. There was enough head-scratching to push out my solving time a tad, so 2.5* /4* overall for me.

    Thanks to all three birds involved.

    1. On reflection, YS, I think I should expand my podium to include 21d & 25a too. They are both top notch clues!

      1. There are some compilers who hit such high levels of excellence that choosing any particular favourite seems disingenuous. Jay is in that select group. Just occasionally one or two leap out at you. I am always amazed at the variety of favourites that are selected. Being an early commenter often means you set the tone for a possible COTD or appear to have overlooked an absolute belter. Each to his own, I suppose.

      2. I agree – 25a and 21d among my top favourites. 7d and 16d also excellent.
        Took me a while to ‘see’ the Quickie Pun.
        Thanks to Setter and the 2Ks.

  3. Very enjoyable, liked 11d particularly. Took a while to see the well disguised lurker at 25a. Some head scratching over 21d , which I also liked and was my last one in. Thanks to all

  4. This was a strange solve for me as I read through all the across clues and didn’t put in a single answer. I then went to the downs and before I knew it the whole top half was in apart from 8d and 11d. The bottom half put up more of a fight and I had to resort to pen and paper for 11d, I would never have got it otherwise. The second word of 7d took a while, but I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge. Many thanks to the 2Ks and to Jay.

  5. Wrote down a **/**** on completion, and enjoyed this excellent puzzle.
    Took a while after putting the solution in to parse 21d and the last to fall was the well concealed three word lurker in 25a.
    Good job 11d was an anagram.
    Loved the surface of 15a
    Thanks to 2k’s for the pics, and the quickie pun amused.

  6. I found this very ‘bitty’ – I used my Wordsearch program quite extensively and worked back to the clue – I finished it ok but felt a bit unsatisfied.

    Off to the Diabetes Nurse later to show her my spreadsheet and graphs of my blood sugar levels – last time she didn’t seem at all impressed, maybe everyone comes in with something similar. Whatever I’m pleased with them, that’ll do for me!

    1. I didn’t get the Quickie Pun, I had the individual words but couldn’t put them together – quite a tricky one!

  7. Yes, the high standard so far this week was more than matched today, there were some cracking clues to enjoy. I found the right-hand side to be a little trickier than the left, with the wonderful 11d my LOI and favourite. Honourable mentions too for 1a, 15a, 7d, 20d and 21d.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  8. Well this was certainly more demanding than yesterday’s offering. I surprised myself by finishing but enjoyed the tussle. 4d as a word is new one on me and I failed to parse 21d properly. 7d and 20d shared the podium for me. Thanks Jay and 2Kiwis.

  9. Kind of enjoyed this one and agree with others that only 1 or 2 needed a whizz in the alphabet blender.

    Re 23d – there are those who would say that the solution to this clue is a grain that, far from being inferior, is much “kinder” to the gut, compared with the over-bred and relentlessly harsh Big Plains monoculture wheat that industry has been foisting on us for years………
    I’m no fussy eater, but I think the trend for eating wheat in some form three times a day ( which people never did before the 90s) has created the weird pro-Diabetes and obesity epidemic in the UK.
    🤓 Oops…..sorry

  10. I was slow to get the 8d instrument, the 23d second skin and (in company with others) to unearth the lurker in 25a.
    The parsing of 21d also took some head-scratching.
    No problem with 9a as it put in an appearance in yesterday’s Toughie.
    Top spots went to 7&21d.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks – enjoying seeing the pics from your recent holiday. Bet it seems like ages ago already!

    Now back to the totally unequal struggle with today’s Toughie……..

  11. Another very enjoyable Jay puzzle, reasonably straightforward, completed at a gallop – **/****.

    New use of a familiar word in 23d.

    Joint favourites – 15a and 27a.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  12. I don’t think I can add to the party here. This was an excellent puzzle which suited me well. None to easy and none too difficult. thank you Jay and thank you both bloggers. I often wonder how you do that. When I have shared a blog one has done the across clues and one the down clues. Any way it works well whatever you do.

  13. I completed this but not without difficulty. I thought 9a was a bit contrived but that aside there were a lot of cracking clues to enjoy. I got to the political restructuring only after a struggle. The lurker in 25a was well hidden. 7d was my favourite clue but I also liked 24a,3d and16d.

  14. I knew we would be made to pay for yesterday’s breeze! This was very tricky indeed with many answers from only getting part of the clue. I would take issue with 18d, according my my BRB the answer means To set in place, dispose
    To postulate, assume as true, definitely or for argument’s sake. Nothing to do with submitted!
    Not my favourite (Mrs B stalked off in disgust!) so for me *** for diff and ** for enjoyment
    Thx for the hints

    1. As Senf suggests, 18d is fine. Posit means to put forward as a fact or as a basis for argument: postulate, advance, propound, submit, etc.

  15. I can’t really agree with Brian’s comment about being “made to pay for yesterday’s breeze”, but I must admit that one or two clues did need a bit more thinking through than some have recently. I made life harder for myself than I should have done by entering sheriff for 12 across.. Once I’d realised my mistake it was fairly plain sailing, other than 11 down for which I had to resort to my little electronic gadget. A super puzzle from Jay as usual of course. 21 down has to be my favourite clue, followed closely by the well hidden answer in 26 across. Thanks to setter and blogger alike.

  16. Good afternoon everybody.

    Very straightforward with just 26a, a better than average lurker, and 23d, not quite a new word but only solved by running through all of the potential letter combinations, delaying things.


  17. Lovely. 21d was my favourite and 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to Jay, and to the 2k’s for the review and pictures.

  18. I really liked 16d and 26a .
    I wondered about non chemists seeing the gas at 25a . If wasn’t trying every means allowable to get organic chemistry into the heads of my sweet 6th years , I don’t know if I would have seen it myself.
    Spelt isn’t a form of wheat , no more than oats are.
    Anyway , I enjoyed the challenge.
    Thanks to the two Kiwis and Jay.

  19. In the more difficult range for me but pleased to have completed it. Struggled with 1a for ages until the penny dropped!

    Clue of the day is 22a. Rating 3 / 3.5

    Thanks to the 2K’s and Jay.

  20. ***/**** for me. My favourites were 7d & 19d though there were plenty others to which I tipped my hat.

  21. Morning all. Another beautiful day dawning here, we could easily get used to weather like this, long may it continue.
    With the grain in 23d, every reference that we can find describes it as a type of wheat so reckon Jay is correct in the clue. The use of the word ‘inferior’ that we used in the hint is a direct quote from BRB and not us making any judgement.

    1. Wikipedia seems to agree with you and the BRB:

      Spelt (Triticum spelta; Triticum dicoccum), also known as dinkel wheat or hulled wheat, is a species of wheat cultivated since approximately 5000 BC.

      Spelt was an important staple in parts of Europe from the Bronze Age to medieval times; it now survives as a relict crop in Central Europe and northern Spain and has found a new market as a health food. Spelt is sometimes considered a subspecies of the closely related species common wheat (Triticum aestivum).

  22. I thoroughly enjoyed this. It was middling difficulty for me, some easy, some hard.
    When I used to make bread, I used 23d, lovely nutty flavour.
    Difficult to choose a fave, but I’m going for 15a ‘cos it’s got four legs.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2Kiwis for the review, enjoying the “visits” to India.
    I thought that Srinagar was the summer capital, maybe because it’s in Kashmir it has been supplanted by Simla.

  23. Thanks to 2Kiwis for very much needed hints, and the lovely Indian pics. I needed far too many hints today to get any satisfaction from this puzzle,above my pay grade obviously. However, can’t complain as I have been on a good roll for a few days now and knew it was time for my come uppance.

  24. Into *** for difficulty here, really as a result of 25ac and 23d, which took a large chunk of the time. To the former I can only cry – Why? – as I’d thought quite early on it must be a hidden word, which indeed it was. Enjoyable through and through anyway.

  25. Definitely ***/**** for me today and I confess to ignorance as to the TV presenter clue. I don’t have TV so have often been considered weird but think I may be one of a growing number of such folk now, in the world of iPlayer ?
    Missed the gas, grr, and still don’t understand 4d.

    1. 4d – follow the 2kiwis instructions and you will get “emcee” = MC = Master of Ceremonies = host.

  26. The usual high standard Wednesday puzzle.

    When I first started getting to grips with cryptics I, more often than not, seemed to be able to get on Jay’s wavelength and today was no exception.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis */****

  27. Quite a straight forward solve here – few slightly querky clues but nothing too obscure!

  28. Great crossword. I found it difficult to get a foothold, but once I had solved a few, the rest went in steadily. **/****. Almost too many clues to pick out favourites but I’ll pick … ummm … 26a. Thanks Jay.

  29. I’m catching up on my backlog of ‘DT XWs’ and I just finished this one. 11d took a while to jump out, hence it was my favourite. Enjoyable xw and thanks to the 2Ks for their insight.

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