DT 28597 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28597

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28597

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.                

We seem to have mentioned weather quite a lot lately but it really is quite phenomenal. After a very wet winter it has now become extremely dry with temperatures that we do not usually see until much later in the summer. It looks like November is about to set an unbeatable record for rainfall in our district with a zero score for the whole month.

Today’s Jay puzzle went together a little more easily for us than last week’s but with all the usual smiles and chuckles.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Carriers taking issue with egg on one sent into cleaners (10)
PUSHCHAIRS : A word meaning egg on or encourage and then the Roman numeral one is inside cleaning ladies.

6a     Not so many will dismiss female in this vessel (4)
EWER : The abbreviation for female is removed from the beginning of a word meaning not so many.

9a     Stay true (7)
STAUNCH : A double definition. Stay is in the sense of to stem the flow.

10a     Confirm drink left on board (7)
SUPPORT : A three letter word meaning to drink and then the maritime word for left.

12a     Cleaner must be keener after reprimands (6-7)
CARPET-SWEEPER : The keener here could be somebody mouring at a funeral. This follows reprimands or calls to account for a misdeed.

14a     At home, authorise first-class returns, getting badges (8)
INSIGNIA : Our usual two letter ‘at home’, then to authorise by writing one’s name and the reversal of the two letters denoting top quality.

15a     Runs in a false retreat (6)
ASHRAM : ‘A’ from the clue and then the cricket abbreviation for runs is inside a word meaning false or imitation.

17a     Thrill old lover with quote (6)
EXCITE : The two letter old lover and then a word meaning to quote.

19a     Heart broken by ‘X’, bully (8)
THREATEN : An anagram (broken) of HEART and then the number expressed in Roman numerals as X.

21a     In grammar he, for example, needs to make firm declaration (13)
PRONOUNCEMENT : The part of speech of which ‘he’ is one example and a way to make firm or stick together in a construction sense.

24a     Electronic circuits and leads regularly being passed (7)
ELAPSED : The abbreviation for electronic, then circuits that might be part of a race and the second and fourth letters of leads.

25a     Abandon hope as a spider runs out (7)
DESPAIR : An anagram (runs out) of A SPIDER.

26a     Achieved a target, retaining information (4)
DATA : A lurker hiding in the first three words of the clue.

27a     Lock up suppliers of drugs and boring writers (3-7)
PEN-PUSHERS : A three letter word for lock up or enclose and then suppliers of illicit drugs.


1d     Authorise advance (4)
PASS : A double definition. The advance is usually of the amorous kind.

2d     Views covering African organisation’s meetings (7)
SEANCES : The organisation that we most commonly associate with Nelson Mandela is inside a word for views or looks at.

3d     Folds, once ratings go badly (13)
CONGREGATIONS : An anagram (badly) of ONCE RATINGS GO. (It took us a little while to twig the required meaning of folds.)

4d     Juggling act — lithe, fit and active (8)
ATHLETIC : An anagram (juggling) of ACT LITHE.

5d     Plans right employment laws at last (5)
RUSES : The abbreviation for right and then employment or application. Finally (at last) the last letter of laws.

7d     Women anticipating skipper’s lie (7)
WHOPPER : The abbreviation for women and a skipper or somebody jumping, usually on one foot.

8d     Almost deserved to be set up in lease giving privacy (10)
RETIREMENT : A word that means deserved or ‘was worthy of’ loses it’s last letter and is reversed inside a word meaning to lease.

11d     Urge free seconds as handouts for journalists (5,8)
PRESS RELEASES : A word meaning urge or force, then a seven letter word meaning to free and the abbreviation for seconds.

13d     Extra butter, say, in general (10)
WIDESPREAD : One of the deliveries in cricket that qualifies as an extra and what butter (or even margarine) is an example of.

16d     Fleece cleaner? (5-3)
SHEEP-DIP : Cryptic definition of a piece of agricultural equipment.

18d     Co-worker clamps over line that’s added to engine (7)
COOLANT : ‘Co’ from the clue and a worker insect contain (clamps) the abbreviations for over and line.

20d     Determine concentration needs time and, after it, speed (7)
TITRATE : A synonym for speed comes after the abbreviation for time and ‘it’ from the clue.

22d     Jog naked around back of building (5)
NUDGE : The last letter of building is inside naked or undressed.

23d     Forward should avoid hot garments (4)
BRAS : A word meaning forward or crass loses the abbreviation for hot.

The clue where we started, 1a, is a top qualifier for favourite, but 13d was our last one in and also a strong contender.

Quickie pun     braise    +    once    +    elf    =    brace oneself

41 comments on “DT 28597

  1. Lots to enjoy in this Jay offering this cold morning. I particularly liked 1 and 12a, as well as 13 and 16d. 20d, though was my favourite. Overall 2* /4* feels about right.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  2. Completed at a canter today. Not a lot stood out for me, other than a) the break-up of 21a into two distinct and unconnected words, which I quite liked, and b) was the use of “cleaner” in three different clues, which I didn’t.

    In 27a shouldn’t the clue have “bored” rather than “boring”?

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  3. Again agree with 2Kiwis rating of **/****.
    I started off slowly in the NW corner then circled clockwise at an increasing rate .
    Lots to enjoy as Young Salopian puts it.
    1a took a bit of parsing but probably my favourite clue ,excellent surface; 13d a close second.
    So far so good this week with a high enjoyment rating.
    Loved the Quickie pun-pity there was not a forth word for an Aussie girlfriend !
    Thanks all-just waiting, in anticipation, for Mr Stokes ‘all clear’

  4. Jay at his best, some nice obfuscation, a couple of oldies but goodies, very enjoyable, and finished at a gallop – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 27a and 16d; and the winner is 27a.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  5. Very enjoyable crossword and I agree with **/**** rating. My favourite is 1a. I made the mistake of putting BARGE as the answer to 22d until 21a proved it wrong. Thanks to 2Kiwis and Jay.

    1. I did the same – and didn’t it fit well, too? (Shame about not fitting with anything else, I thought, when I finally sorted out 21a.)

  6. Really good, a very enjoyable and interesting puzzle – lots to enjoy!

    Raining in East Herts, that’s put paid to the Golf for today!

  7. Completed at a steady pace, liked 12a and 1a, which was my last one in. Very enjoyable, thanks to all.

  8. This was certainly a big contrast to last Wednesday’s grief! – and enjoyable all the way (having said all that, I seem to be back to my usable midweek tendency to guess answers prior to justifying same). Slightly held up by inserting ‘barge’ at 23d (which could perhaps be excused as a not-so-good ‘stretcher’?). I hadn’t come across ‘E’ as an abbrev. for ‘electronic’ before (24a) – will remember for future. Favourite: 20d. :) [emoticon test successful!]

      1. Yes, maybe that was the intended connection (electronic might be a bit on the ‘toughie’ side??). Thanks.

  9. Slow off the blocks and then a fairly straightforward run with a couple of sticking points viz 20d and 18d. SW corner held out the longest. Failed to parse wide synonym in 13d and took while for 3d to click. Overall nicely testing. Thank you Jay and 2Kiwis. Quickie pun amused me too.

  10. “Tick”would have been a better answer to 1d. but was obviously incorrect. It’s rare to come across two perfectly valid answers.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      We have a few other commenters called Tony so you may wish to add something to your alias to make you stand out from the (small)crowd

    2. Thanks all for the welcomes.
      I’ll post as Wony Tilson – an anagram of my name. Seems appropriate.

  11. I found several of these quite tricky and 15a and 20d were new words for me for which I needed the hints. However, it was an enjoyable solve. Thanks to the setter and to 2Kiwis.

  12. This was very enjoyable. Certainly 4*s for enjoyment but I went just into my 3* time for difficulty trying to make the definition in 1a “carriers”. This was, as a consequence, my last in. As seems often to be the case, my favourite is the one that puts up the biggest struggle, so 1a gets my vote today. Thanks to 2Kiwis and to Jay.

  13. Managed the cricket bit OK but rather came to grief on the science issue and had to check my guess with Mr Google.
    Re: 1a – caught the tail end of a programme yesterday in which three fathers were challenged to assemble a variety of doll’s 1a for their daughters – hilarious!

    25a amused but the honours are going to 3d.

    Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and to our 2Ks for a great blog.

  14. Took a while today, but once I finally did 1a I thought it was excellent and my favourite clue. Many thanks Jay and the 2Ks.

  15. For a change I managed not only to understand every clue of a Jay crossword even the leaps of faith but also enjoyed it. I agree with the rating but would give it 4* for enjoyment. I especially liked 27a.
    Thx to all.

  16. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A nice puzzle from Jay as usual. No real problems, just had “stances” for 2d, no wonder I couldn’t parse it! Favourite was 21a. Last in was 15a. Was 2 ✳ / 4 ✳ for me.

  17. Well, I made hard work of this one. It took me ages to get a toehold; eventually the SW corner allowed me in and from then on thankfully things became increasingly easier and I duly finished at a canter! 13d was my favourite clue of many. I’ll have to go 3/4* overall as I took so long to start.
    Thanks to Jay, and the 2K’s for their review

  18. Jay’s puzzles are always a delight, but I did feel that a few of the surfaces today were a little strained and not quite up to his normal high standard.

    My pick of today’s crop were 12a, 3d and 22d.

    Many thanks to Mr Mutch and the 2Ks.

  19. Much enjoyment with this one, though I did need electronic help with 13d, didn’t know the crickety reference so thanks for that, 2Ks.
    Fave? I dunno, too much to choose from – maybe 1a or 27a or 22d.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2Kiwis for a good start to the day.

    1. Book arrived today – will try to get it read over the weekend. Nearly bought the sequel at the same time but chickened out – may well regret that!

      1. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it – it was on the best-seller list for ages and I had quite a wait from my library.

  20. Excellent offering by Jay, very enjoyable. For some reason last in 23d? Overall a slightly more difficult rating for me.

    2.5 / 3.5

    Clue of the day 13d closely followed by 1a / 10a / 13a some great clues today.

    Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay.

  21. Unlike the majority I found this trickier than the normal Wednesday puzzle 😳 So ***/***. Did not know (or remember perhaps) 15a. Favourites 7d, 19 & 21 across. As always thanks to the 2 x Ks and to Jay 😃 If today’s temperature is anything to go by we could be in for a cold Winter here in the East! 😨

  22. Morning all. A quick check on the forecast and a glance out the window confirm that the nil rainfall record for November is certainly still on the cards here. Not the sort of record that pleases farmers or gardeners.
    Looks like we got everything right again with this one so the proofreader’s job is safe for another week at least.

    1. We are having the worst draught since the 1960s. No sign of rain even if the rest of the country is under some heavy clouds.

  23. Did notice the repetition of cleaner and authorise and thought there was a theme somewhere. Silly really.
    20d was a new word for me.
    Great lurker in 26a.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

  24. Hospital appointment consumed most of the afternoon and I wish I had taken the puzzle with me to ease the tedium of waiting in an overheated room. So got to this only late. Apart from 1d which I got wrong by putting push I had no problems. I enjoyed several clues 1a, 27a and 13d.

  25. Last one in 15a , with electronic help never heard of it ; didn’t find this solve easy . Weeper = Keener ? Liked 13 and 20d , I’ve certainly done enough 20d’s in my younger days. ***/*** Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks .

  26. Great crossword as usual from Jay.
    Last in was 20d, not a word I was familiar with, but I should have got it from the wordplay.
    15a was new also, but gettable from the wordplay.
    Thanks all.

  27. Right half went in reasonably quickly, but left half took more thinking. Having said that 15a and 20d were last to go in, and only after reading the 2Kiwis hints, thank you. Unless I am mistaken 22d is also in today’s Quick, and the singular of 2d was in yesterday’s Quick. Enjoyed as usual.

  28. Two stars for difficulty, lots more for entertainment value. The longer clues took a long time to fall, probably because it’s late and I’m tired, because in retrospect none were that obscure. 20d was new, but painstakingly clued.

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