DT 28609 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28609

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28609

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.                

Our thoughts go out to all of you who are coping with the bitterly cold weather. Meanwhile we have conditions at the opposite end of the spectrum. Still no rain and day by day everything is getting drier and drier with temperatures around the 30C mark.  Our pohutukawas are getting redder and redder each day, we’ll put in a photo of them next week.
A few curly ones in here but basically a relatively gentle, good fun puzzle from Jay once again.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Arc lamp set off material for reprocessing (5,5)
SCRAP METAL : An anagram (off) of ARC LAMP SET.

6a     Look after contents of lost city (4)
OSLO : The central two letters (contents) of lost followed by a two letter word meaning look.

10a     Follow Master of Arts principle (5)
DOGMA : Follow or tail and then the letters denoting a Master of Arts.

11a     Understanding the ability to resist pain (9)
TOLERANCE : Double definition. The first is understanding or forbearance.

12a      Island craft backed by whole area (7)
SUMATRA : A word for a craft or skill is reversed and follows a word meaning whole or total and the abbreviation for area.

13a     Shoot and frighten drill-sergeant to a limited extent (7)
TENDRIL : A lurker hiding in the third and fourth words of the clue.

14a     Showing pleasure after trip, but too gung-ho? (7-5)
TRIGGER-HAPPY : A word meaning trip or set off and then one meaning showing pleasure or delighted.

18a     Feeling full, runs into this silly pompous ass (7,5)
STUFFED SHIRT : The feeling one has after over-eating and then the cricket abbreviation for runs is inside an anagram (silly) of THIS.

21a      Computer images a sailor’s found linked to the Bible (7)
AVATARS : The letters representing the Authorised Version of the Bible, then ‘A’ from the clue and one of the words for a sailor with its attached ‘s.

23a     Steal the limelight from leading coach (7)
UPSTAGE : A short word for leading or ahead and the type of coach we associate with the wild west.

24a     Eight pints not on? Then four with soldier and run around for fun (9)
GALLIVANT : The liquid measure equivalent to eight pints loses ‘on’, then the Roman numeral four and a soldier insect.

25a     Keen on covering Queen’s opening bars? (5)
INTRO : A colloquial expression for keen on contains the abbreviation for Regina.

26a     Job request following termination of employment (4)
TASK : The final letter of employment and a word meaning request.

27a     Union man‘s bedroom frolics with girl finishing early (10)
BRIDEGROOM : An anagram (frolics) of BEDROOM and GIR(l) after the last l has been dropped.


1d     Perversion is welcomed by unhappy male (6)
SADISM : A word for unhappy, then ‘is’ from the clue and the abbreviation for male.

2d     Government, for example, finding itself constricted by frost (6)
REGIME : The letters signifying for example are inside a word for frost or frozen dew.

3d     9, apparently, that should help fix a broken leg (7,2,5)
PLASTER OF PARIS : An all in one clue that could be construed as the answer to 9d when the second word is a medical application.

4d     Alienated journalist full of rum (9)
ESTRANGED : The abbreviation for a senior journalist surrounds (is full of) a word meaning rum or peculiar.

5d     Set aside a great deal for the audience (5)
ALLOT : A homophone of a (1,4) phrase for a great deal.

7d     Rising role adopted by stars in hot spots (8)
SUNTRAPS : Stars like the one at the centre of our solar system surround the reversal of a role in a stage or screen production.

8d     Covers, but hams it up ignoring head of production (8)
OVERLAYS : Find a word meaning hams it up and remove the first letter of production from the centre of it.

9d      European resigns in confusion after daughter shows sauce (6,8)
FRENCH DRESSING : European from just across the Channel, the abbreviation for daughter and an anagram (in confusion) of RESIGNS.

15d     Worn out as he taxed us horribly (9)
EXHAUSTED : An anagram (horribly) of HE TAXED US.

16d     Set out carrying load to get continental delicacy (8)
ESCARGOT : An anagram (out) of SET contains a load that you might find on a ship.

17d     Well-made goods from Germany and Belarus ordered (8)
DURABLES : The IVR code for Germany and an anagram (ordered) of BELARUS.

19d       Revolutionary leader‘s shed with room, oddly (6)
CASTRO : A word meaning shed or throw off and then the first and third letters of room.

20d     Give up bad habits seeing case of reserve on bench (6)
REFORM : The first and last letters (case) of RESERVE and a bench or wooden seat.

22d     Step from prison to accept first of awards (5)
STAIR : A colloquial term for prison contains the first letter of awards.

The two long clues 3d and 9d get our vote for top clues today.

Quickie pun     pose     +      toffees       =      Post Office

51 comments on “DT 28609

  1. I agree with your thoughts on the puzzle and your ratings

    You are welcome to some of the gallons of rain we’ve had in East Kent the last few days – as someone said on Monday, it is a good job this isn’t falling as snow!

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

    The Petitjean Toughie is also recommended

  2. Lots of goodies to enjoy today from Jay with a terrific clue mix. Plenty of ticks but my favourite was 27a. 2* /4* overall. Many thanks to Jay for a most entertaining puzzle and to the 2Ks.

    A gentle thaw underway here in the Marches although the threat of more wet snow to come apparently. Seasonal, lovely to look at but so disruptive.

  3. Oh joy! – a Jay/Petitjean double today.

    2.5* / 5*. After yesterday’s divergence, I suspect Silvanus & Rabbit Dave will be back in alignment regarding this magnificent Jay back-pager. There are ticks all over my page with five earning double ticks: 14a, 27a, 4d and the linked 3d & 9d.

    Many thanks to all three birds.

  4. Now that’s what I call an excellent puzzle. Lots of elegant clues with no leaps of faith.
    Almost Giovanni standard in that the clues contain all one needs to solve them.
    Soooo much better than yesterday’s horror at least for me,
    Thx to the setter and for the hints.

  5. Oh dear, probably the least troublesome (but nevertheless enjoyable) of all Cryptics ever was done and dusted too quickly followed by the equally untaxing Quickie hence now no excuse not to get on with yet more Christmas preparations – ugh! Several nice surfaces but Fav was 14a. Thank you Jay and 2Kiwis.

  6. A slow start but I steadily picked up speed to finish at a fast canter, very enjoyable – **/****.

    To quote Yogi Berra, some clues/answers appeared to be déjà vu all over again.

    Favourite – 24a.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

  7. Great puzzle just like yesterday’s. The toughie is a treat too but I will need help understanding some of the answers. Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and thanks to the 2 Kiwis for the review. Don’t forget the photos of the lovely trees. I am enjoying our snow and bright sunshine. I really like our seasons.

  8. Just about R & W for me today – second quickest ever. Do agree with Brian about the fairness of the clues – the frozen dew was a new word for me but the answer was obvious from the clue. No particular favourites. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks for an enjoyable blog.

  9. A nice steady satisfying solve today. Yep, I agree, 27a gets the medals today for its playfulness. Thanks to K K & J. Off for a nice relaxing medical.

  10. A really nice puzzle from Jay yet again👍 Strangely I went through all the across clues without an answer but once I started on the down it all fell neatly into place 🤗 Hurrah
    Favourites 24 & 27 across and 16 down 😃 Thanks to the 2x Ks and to Jay. Off to dip my toe in the water with Petitjean 😬

  11. What a gem, a brilliant crossword – thoroughly enjoyable. My favourite has to be 24a, great wordplay – great fun!

    Of to the Olympic Stadium tonight for West Ham v Arsenal, looking forward to the walk from the Station across the windswept wasteland which the Stadium operators refer to as the ‘Olympic Park’ – winter draws on!

  12. So much to praise in this one including the well-hidden 13a, the smile-inducing 14a and the perfect combo in 3&9d – although I was a little unsure about the answer to the latter being classified as a ‘sauce’.

    Thanks to Jay for a delightful puzzle and to our 2Ks for an equally delightful pictorial blog.

    PS I would heartily endorse CS’s PJ recommendation – not too tough at all.

  13. Just put my pen down after writing **/****, excellent fare and as 2 K’s says-a good fun puzzle,no obscure words or iffy clues.
    liked 12a, which reminded me of the unpublished Holmes story ‘The Giant Rat of Sumatra ‘ which according to Sherlock, was never talked about , as the told Watson that ” the world was not ready for it”- I digress.
    Thanks to setter and 2 K’S, steeling myself for the Test !

  14. My second 1* this week – which has got to be some kind of record for yours truly! Perhaps on to Toughie grade next? – if I can just bring myself to acquire one of them thar electronic solving aids. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle, favourite has to be the highly amusing and somewhat naughty 27a – definitely a touch of the Ray T’s there! – and I suspect something of a chestnut (probably with a decidedly novel input to clue structure?). Many thanks to setter.

  15. Like everyone else, a really enjoyable puzzle. I started quite slowly but then picked up speed toward the end. **/*****. I liked the 3d/9d combination. 21a, 6a, 25a with the winner being 14a. Nice one, Jay. Could our Kiwi friends lob some surplus warm weather UKwards, please.

  16. Yes, back in alignment with RD today, I’m very pleased to say. A solidly clued and very enjoyable Jay puzzle, as one has come to expect.

    The stand out clue for me was 27a, very reminiscent of tomorrow’s setter in fact, as was 25a. I too loved the quirky definition for 3d as a link to 9d. Not sure that I can make a convincing case for why a “government would be constricted by frost”, but if anyone else can, please let me know.

    Many thanks to Mr Mutch and to Colin and Carol.

        1. Mmmm – not sure I understand – but I’m easily confused. Sorry if I appeared to be teaching grandmother to suck eggs.

          1. Cryptic clues appear to say one thing (the “surface reading”) when in fact they need to be interpreted in another way, which leads to the solution. Silvanus was pointing out that the surface reading was not very convincing.

  17. A very ponderous start, but then it all fell into place, and was most enjoyable too. I agree with **/****. Thank you Jay

    I needed the blog for confirmation of some parsing, (I either didn`t know, or just don’t remember, the word “rime”, for example), so thanks also to the 2 Kiwis.

    COTD – 27a – a very good surface

    13a – a very good surface as well, given that even though it was a lurker, it was still my Last One In, (again!)

    The snow on the mountains in the distance is very attractive, on two counts: aesthetically pleasing and, most importantly, because it is….in the distance.

    I hope that fellow-bloggers were not caught up in the travel chaos this weekend. I have my doubts as to whether BA’s new contingency planning strategy “You need to re-book on the internet”, and “sort out your own accommodation, and then claim” will win over to many hearts and minds. Based on the straw poll of my 80 year old Mother, and the comments of others stranded with her at LHR, it was not a roaring PR success.

    1. But it’s much cheaper for them and Ryanair have shown how shoddily you can treat people and still they come back. Amazing.

  18. Agree with everybody, another superb offering from Jay, a pleasure to complete. Missed the lurker in 13a but still got it? From my point of view that’s three excellent puzzles this week. Just one query is “French dressing” a “true” sauce? Sure somebody will enlighten me?

    Clue of the day: 24a (“A Lego one” I think Kath calls it?)

    Rating ** / ****

    Thanks to the 2K’s and Jay for a great puzzle.

  19. Exactly what to expect from Jay.
    Fair clues leading to a mechanical solve.
    This setter represents the epitome of classic cryptic crosswords in my mind but always a very enjoyable experience.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

  20. Morning all.
    The overnight showers that were forecast failed to materialise so the dry continues.
    We have some friends staying with us for a few days and John was an interested spectator when we were putting the blog together yesterday. Suspect that we have sown a few seeds that might entice him a bit further into the fascinating world of cryptic crosswords. Hope so. We find it a real pleasure to share our love of the puzzles with others.

  21. My brain is frozen and i had no answers after reading the acrosses, then took off with the downs.
    Another great puzzle, I liked 24a and 27a, but fave was the 3d/9d combo.
    Loved the pic at 13a, very artistic, imagine it framed and on the wall.
    Thanks to Jay, super job, and to 2Kiwis for their review. Can’t wait for the pic next week.

  22. Just taken up this crossword again after many years so very rusty on getting my brain into gear. Thanks for the hints. Here’s hoping I will need less of them as the weeks go by.

    1. Welcome to the blog Muddleheaded.
      We look forward to reading your comments as you get back into the swing of solving these pesky things.

  23. A lovely puzzle indeed and just what I needed after correcting 300,000,000 million tests ( well that is how it felt anyway ).
    24 a is my favourite , how I wish I had the energy to do so.
    Thanks to the Two kiwis and Jay.

  24. Once again a lovely Wednesday puzzle from Jay. I started at a gallop, but slowed to a jog for a while. Favourlte clues were 21 & 27a and 3d which I bunged in with only the P to go on. Thanks to Jay and 2Ks.

  25. A very pleasant, not overtaxing solve.Just the thing to take mind off rain, accompanied by thunder & lightning (in December??).

    As a simple soul 6a was my COTD. .

    Thanks to Jay & 2Ks. I don’t envy your temperature (much!). Our temp feels like 30F and after walking the dog my face & nose probably rival your pohutukawas.

  26. Another cracker, for the first time I got a time bonus from the DT website.
    Lots of great clues, too many to pick a favourite.
    Thanks all.

    1. Well there you go Hoofit – I really struggled with this. So often a wavelength thing. Reminds me of this conversation!

  27. Like several others, I was slow off from the gate today, but gradually got going. Generally enjoyed but needed a tad too many of the 2Kiwis hints (thank you) to feel satisfied with my efforts

  28. We haven’t commented for a while because we are running behind schedule. We polished this off while our car was being serviced.
    Thanks to Jay and indeed, the 2 Kiwis. 2*/3*

  29. Agreed with the rating, just a little into ** time. 3d raised a smile today among many good clues.

  30. Not difficult (*) but a pleasing solve (****). My pet clues were 24a and 27a. Ta to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

  31. No hold ups at all on this one. All slipped in nicely. My only complaint would be that once all the checkers were in some of the words the answer was too obvious before reading the clue. For example 13a. Only parsing I did not get was AV for authorised version. Thanks Jay and 2Ks. Actually very similar to yesterday despite what one contributor thinks.

  32. Can’t find a definitive answer anywhere, so I’ll ask the blog. (everyone!)

    Is the word ‘why’ acceptable as inclusion of ‘y’ into anagram fodder, or do I need to specify heard or said? Test solvers divided; maybe I’ll use it anyway for controversy.

    1. Hi Rags,

      I would say that, unindicated, it is extremely unfair to the solver. How would he or she know what your intention was? You might know, but nobody else would. Even if you had a homophone indicator, it requires the solver to take two steps to find the required letters, and that sort of complicated construction is best avoided I suggest.

  33. Lovely crossword from Mr Mutch… but all that has been already said!
    2/4* overall with 24a top clue.
    Thanks to Jay, and the sun baked 2K’s for their review.j

  34. Took a while to get going, then found this one very good;
    double ticks against 26A, 27A, 1D and 4D.

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