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DT 28604

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28604

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone. Yet again, it’s not a Ray T Thursday – we haven’t had one of his back page cryptics for several weeks. I don’t have any idea as to who might have set this one. I thought it was straightforward but, as always, I’m very happy for anyone to disagree with me – it’s all to do with wavelength and I find it hard to judge difficulty and enjoyment when I know that I’m doing the hints.

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

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


8a            Violent protesters initially roaring ‘Tories out’ (7)
RIOTERS — An anagram (out) of the first letter (initially) of R(oaring) and TORIES

10a         Preserving energy, Romans relaxed — slaves driving galley, maybe (7)
OARSMEN — An anagram (relaxed) of ROMANS which goes round (preserving) E(nergy

11a         Voting system not nice, unfortunately, in US university (9)
PRINCETON — The two letter abbreviation for a system of voting is followed by an anagram (unfortunately) of NOT NICE

12a         Criticise or clap? (5)
BLAST — A double definition. I had a bit of a dither about this one – I can’t quite make clap = the answer somehow.

13a         Where men are on board ship beside revolutionary (5)
CHESS — The first name of a South American revolutionary who is so useful to crossword setters is followed by the two letter abbreviation for S(team) S(hip).

14a         Snack to put with something sparkling and European (7)
TOASTIE — Take the TO from the clue, follow that with a fizzy wine (something sparkling) and finish off with the abbreviation for E(uropean)

17a         I’m so interfering, travelling as a politician? (7,8)
FOREIGN MINISTER — An anagram (travelling) of I’M SO INTERFERING

19a         Country folk appearing in operatic piece (7)
ARMENIA — The operatic piece is a vocal solo and it contains (appearing in) some folk or people

21a         Bottle — optic possibly applied to it? (5)
NERVE — This kind of ‘bottle’ is a slang word for courage. The second word in the clue is nothing to do with pub measurements – if you put the answer after that word you get something to do with your eye. Oh dear, oh dear – one of those that’s much easier to do than to give a half decent hint for.

24a         Old communist figure turning back on Left (5)
LENIN — Begin with L(eft) and follow that with a reversal (turning back) of a figure or a number – the one between eight and ten would do very nicely.

26a         Dreadful experience being near horse nursing temperature (9)
NIGHTMARE — An archaic word for near or approaching and a horse, a female one, are separated by (nursing) the abbreviation for T(emperature).

27a         Boy captures the work of Shakespeare, for example (7)
SONNETS — A male offspring is followed by captures or traps.

28a         Loving a swindle, gang (7)
ADORING — The A from the clue and a verb to swindle or cheat are followed by a gang or a band of people.



1d            Subject inspiring reverence primarily, one circling the globe (6)
TROPIC — A synonym for a subject or a theme contains (inspiring) the first letter (primarily) of R(everence).

2d            Around pit, person keeping busy, as boss about (8)
DOMINEER – A pit or colliery goes inside (around) a person who gets on with stuff rather than just sitting and thinking about it.

3d            Part of orchestra that’s supersonic when vibrating (10)
PERCUSSION — An anagram (when vibrating) of SUPERSONIC.

4d            Stumble after a few drinks, going one way then the other (5,4)
ROUND TRIP — A word for a few drinks, as in, “It’s his *****”, is followed by another word for stumble or fall.

5d            Dreary poet sent up (4)
DRAB — A reversal (sent up) of a word for a poet or a writer.

6d            This person is overlooking agreement in effect (6)
IMPACT — How ‘this person’ would say he or she is is followed by (overlooking) an agreement or treaty.

7d            King has designed a winter scarf, say (8)
KNITWEAR — Begin with the one letter abbreviation for KING in cards and chess and follow that with an anagram (designed) of A WINTER.

9d            Genesis character in paradise then (4)
SETH — A lurker or hidden answer – the answer is in the middle of the last two words of the clue.

15d         A story on country producing hostility (10)
ALIENATION — The A from the clue, another word for a story or a fib and then a country or state.

16d         Where one finds chicks, ear’s bitten seriously (2,7)
IN EARNEST — Where you might find some baby birds (2,4) contains (bitten) the EAR from the clue.

17d         Perfect female, unruly (8)
FLAWLESS — The one letter for F(emale) is followed by an adjective meaning unruly or criminal.

18d         Freshwater reptile bringing one salmon up in ten (8)
TERRAPIN — The TEN from the clue contains (in) a reversal (up) of the letter that looks like a one and a word for a young salmon.

20d         Two relatives meeting tomorrow in Madrid? (6)
MANANA — The two relatives are affectionate ways of referring to your Mum and your Gran – the Spanish word has a squiggly thingy, the name of which escapes me, over the first N.

22d         Go green, changing policy finally (6)
ENERGY — An anagram (changing) of GREEN is followed by the last letter (finally) of policY.

23d         A grand queen going to a city in India (4)
AGRA — The A from the clue, the one letter abbreviation for G(rand), the one letter abbreviation for the Latin for queen and then another A, also from the clue.

25d         Want to work hard, you announce? (4)
NEED — A homophone (you announce) of a verb to work hard as you might do when making bread.

I particularly liked 4 and 20d and my favourite, just the one, was 21a.

The Quickie pun:- GOPHER + ASPEN = GO FOR A SPIN For some reason this took me ages to see.

52 comments on “DT 28604

  1. 2* / 2.5*. It’s not RayT this morning but at least it’s a Beam Toughie. He seems to be getting short shrift on the back page at the moment.

    I thought this was a mixed bag; a bit lack lustre overall with a few nice clues but several iffy surfaces.

    20d was my favourite with 4d runner up.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Kath.

  2. One of the early birds today, coincidentally last in was 16d which I failed to parse properly -thanks Kath.
    Started slowly until I tuned in , but still a few hold ups so going for a***/*** , I could not recognise the setter either, but generally liked the different cluing.
    Liked the surface of 26a, and Kath’s pic-looks like Nosferatu to me.10a brought a smile.

  3. 12a As in thunder perhaps? Thanks to Kath and the setter. 20d was last one in for me. Couldn’t get the pun in the quickie so thanks for that as well.

  4. The “squiggly thing” in Spanish in an enya (if that’s how you spell it) and lacking that made me doubt the answer to 20d so thanks Kath for confirming that. Not sure about the second part of 12a either; I suppose it’s a reffeeence to a “****” of thunder? Thanks to the setter and Kath.

    1. It’s a tilde, I reckon. Your suggestion is how you would say the letter if spelling the word… I think.

  5. I have to report failure for the second day in a row. Stuck with just 12a (TOAST?) and 5d (GREY?). After much head scratching, I came to the hints to put me out of my misery.

    I agree with Unicorn, for 12a, as in a clap of thunder.

    Many thanks to Kath and the mystery setter.

  6. Needed the hints to finish today as I came unstuck in the NE corner. Solved 7d, but had Grey at 5d and 12a eluded me completely, otherwise a fairly steady solve . Thanks for the quickie pun, couldn’t see that today.
    Thanks to Kath and the setter

  7. 2* /3* for this pretty straightforward Thursday puzzle. 16d last one in and different version on the iPad edition – Seriously rolling in the hay perhaps, ear bitten – but no other hold-ups. Couldn’t identify a favourite this morning.

    Thanks to our setter and to Kath.

  8. Agree with Kath (it does happen sometimes) 😉 **/*** and I thought 12a little dubious 😬 Favourites are 20d & 27a. Thanks to Kath for the nicely illustrated blog ( loved the picture for 18) and to the unknown setter for yet another easy Thursday 😃

  9. Liked the use of ‘inspiring’ in 1d, and liked the surface of 17a (as the role of a foreign minister is indeed to interfere on occasion). 20d made me laugh. Thanks to the setter and to Kath.

  10. …and, for the second time this week, we have the same answer (8ac) as one in the Teletubby.

  11. All went in steadily and not too challenging. Reasonably enjoyable. No really outstanding clue for me today. **/***.

  12. Blast = clap in the sense of an explosion, or short sharp burst according to Chambers. A touch of Thesauritis, perhaps.
    Quite a few good clues, but favourite is 17a for the wry surface.
    Thanks to setter and to Kath for the review.
    PS 24a is a little over-underlined.

  13. Definitely on the tame side for a Thursday puzzle – albeit not quite in the ‘walkover’ bracket (as with others, there was a snag with ‘Grey’ for 5d). The quick inroads for this one might well be the batch of user-friendly anagrams. I always have trouble picking a winner, but today’s fav would seem to be 16d. Thanks to all concerned!

  14. Unusual to see three successive anagrams to begin the Across clues, but overall I enjoyed this one.

    As LBR says, 17a was a wry surface and quite topical for today, as his dad has just left the Australian celeb jungle. Apparently his first question was “Is Boris still Foreign Secretary?”, half expecting a negative answer I suspect!

    My ticked clues were 21a, 24a, 2d and 20d.

    Many thanks to today’s compiler and to Kath. If RayT fails to appear next Thursday, perhaps questions need to be asked?

    1. I could easily be completely wrong but I think the last Ray T cryptic crossword, back page or just inside the back page, was November 2nd.
      Don’t think we’ve had Shamus recently either – or have I missed one, or more?

  15. Can’t say this was difficult though it took me longer than it merited. No particular favourites today but 2d came close.

  16. I completed this except for 11a and I feel so stupid, very well clued, I shudda orta got it. I was so convinced it was a voting system.
    Otherwise it was all straightforward. I rather liked 17a with runner up 21a.
    Thanks to setter and to Kath, particularly helping with 11a.

  17. A nice one today.15 down I liked.with regard to 12 across all I can relate to thunderclap but I’m probably wrong.

  18. Like RD, I found this one somewhat lacklustre – certainly won’t go down as one of the greatest of back-pagers!
    Nothing that caused any problems but nothing that stood out enough to mention as a favourite.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Kath for the blog – those 18d’s do look cute but I’m glad they seem to have fallen out of favour a little as pets. We’ve had several over here that, having outgrown their appeal or tanks, have been dumped in local ponds/lakes and taken to biting the legs off young water birds – a really distressing sight.

    1. Oh no! That is most distressing. My pet peeve, dumping of so-called “pets” and upsetting the ecology. We have it here in spades with the dumping of constrictors that have outgrown their living quarters, now living in the Everglades and growing up to 18 or more feet. They are eating Keys deer and more fauna that are endangered. Shame on all dumpers of unwanted animals. Rant over.

  19. I was pretty much on a gallop until I was down to my last four clues, one of which was 4d. Once a couple of words that seemed to losely fit the clue were entered, the remaining three quickly fell into place. A very enjoyable solve. Now for that snow – if it does indeed arrive later. Thanks to setter and Kath.

  20. I agree with Kath, clap and blast do not sit easily together. Never heard it called a blast of thunder. Not sure what ”applied to it “ adds to 21a, the clue is complete without it.
    Also I struggled with 16d, I could perhaps understand the bitten if the clue was ear rather’s than ear’s. Thought 28a was a weak clue too.
    Not difficult but rather sloppy I thought.
    Where has Ray T gone, I was just beginning to get the hang of his puzzles, at least the easier ones?
    Thx to all

    1. 21a – the definition is ‘bottle’ as in nerve or courage or bravery. If your answer is ‘applied’ to the word ‘optic’ you end up with the ‘optic nerve’. Well, that’s how I interpreted it anyway.
      16d – you need to think of the ‘ear’s’ as ‘ear is’.

    2. Clap and blast are both simply sudden, explosive, loud sounds – a clap of thunder or the blast of a cannon. They are interchangeable but due to tradition, convention and habit you’d probably never encounter it.

  21. A much better solve than yesterday’s attempt, enjoyed it from start to finish. No real issues with any of the clues but agree about 12a being somewhat obscure.

    Clue of the day 26a closely followed by 14a and 6d, my last one in.

    Rating 2.5 / 4

    Thanks to Kath and the setter.

  22. A bit middle of the road and somewhat lacking in pizzazz. Wasn’t sure about 12a but comments from Kath and several other bloggers have persuaded me re clap. Revolutionary in 13a is a bit like a bad penny! Can’t believe 14a is a dictionary word. Hope for rather more fun tomorrow. Thanks Mysteron and Kath.

  23. Not bad but come back soon Ray T! I quite liked 3d although it is an old chestnut.
    2/3* overall.
    Thanks to the setter and to Kath for the review.

  24. Very disappointed that the BRB doesn’t have “squiggly thingy” as one of the definitions of “tilde”.

  25. Thanks to the setter and Kath for the review and hints. Just couldn’t get into this. Found it a real slog, was beaten by 16&17d. Very probably me, nothing bad about the puzzle. Favourite was 15d. Was 3*/2* for me.

  26. I have to admit to struggling with this one and using electronic aids.
    Got it all eventually, but cannot see clap/blast despite the thunderstorm suggestions.
    Didn’t much like 25d either.
    I thought 23d was a lurker until I saw the blog……well at least I’m looking for them now.

    Overall, though, I am inclined to agree with Heno’s comment that the difficulties I encountered were most likely down to me.

    Thanks to Kath and to the setter.

    Storm Caroline seems to have passed us by with no particularly bad effects, but the temperature is definitely falling so the forecast snow may yet cause trouble.

  27. Not a fan today, and hats off to Kath for providing the hints for these clues, some of which were quite convoluted, IMHO. The picture at 14a made me quite hungry 😊

  28. All pretty straightforward today, especially for a Thursday. A definite * for difficulty. Fun while it lasted.

  29. A nice enough way to spend a fireside evening, hampered by a spaniel who’s convinced that she’s a lapdog and the competing demands of watching an old “Good Life”. */***, and favourite clue either 11a or 15d. Thanks to the setter, and to Kath.

    1. I envy you your lapdog/spaniel and the music from the “Good Life” just instantly makes me smile – thank you for both of those. :smile:

      1. So, Kath, when are you going to get your rescue? What happened to your accession all guest? Can’t remember his name.

        1. Ah – my ‘spare’ collie – Ted. The problem is that he’s AWFUL with cats and we have our Elder Lamb’s two here quite a lot – they’re both absolutely dog-phobic even with dogs who ignore them. It just doesn’t really work.

          1. Oh dear, that won’t work will it. I see that autocorrect made a hash of my spelling of “occasional”! I’m so lucky that my six cats and two dogs absolutely adore each other! I think sometimes that Sadie gets a bit smothered and needs to “be alone”.

  30. I was stuck in the NE. I had BRAVO at 12a thinking that ironically it is a criticism. Blast doesn’t work for me.

    1. Who’s hoping? Not me as, in my opinion anyway, he’s one of our best setters. OK – he’s a bit quirky and tends to stretch things a bit but you just need to try a bit harder and get into a different way of thinking.

  31. This crossword allowed me to forget about other matters and it’s the main thing.
    Liked the little story in 18d.
    Favourite 4d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Kath for the review.

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