DT 28610 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28610

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28610

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Morning all.  Last week Kath mentioned that we haven’t had a RayT offering for a while but he’s back today with all the usual quirks.  Her Majesty turns up promptly in 1a, there’s some repeated sex and suggestive leering, a couple of lurkers and a first letters clue along with some slightly iffy synonyms. Unusually there are a couple of long anagrams to give plenty of checkers and get you going.  I enjoyed the puzzle and I’ll be interested to hear what you all thought of it.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Introduction is formal meeting the Queen (6)
PRIMER:  A word meaning formal or proper followed by the usual two letters for Her Majesty.

4a           Spread betting odds before final? (8)
SPLATTER:  Two letters for the odds at a horse race perhaps  followed by a word meaning final as in the last one.

9a           King, nearly everybody scoffed about King (6)
ALFRED:  The first two letters of a three letter word for everybody followed by a word for scoffed, as in ate, placed around an R (king) give you a Saxon King, you know, the one that burned the cakes!

10a         Unit in action, late (8)
DEPARTED:  Start with a word for an action (4) and insert a word which loosely can be a unit.  I wasn’t too sure about this but Collins has this for unit -“any group or individual, esp when regarded as a basic element of a larger whole”.

12a         Fantastic bird returns calls for drinks (8)
CORDIALS:  Reverse a giant bird of legend and follow with a word for calls on the telephone.

13a         Pub encounters ordeal regularly finding keg (6)
BARREL:  One of the usual pubs followed by the alternate letters (regularly) from ORDEAL.

15a         One maturing at manoeuvres, revealing logic (13)
ARGUMENTATION:  Anagram (manoeuvres) of ONE MATURING AT.

18a         Obstinacy recanting sin about embracing sweetheart (13)
INTRANSIGENCE:  Anagram (about) of RECANTING SIN placed around (embracing) an E (swEet heart).

22a         Illegal activity, in the main (6)
PIRACY:  Cryptic definition of some illegal activity which takes place on the high seas (in the main).

24a         Repeated sex considered to include love finally (8)
ITERATED:  A two letter euphemism for sex or sex appeal is followed by a word meaning considered or judged placed around (to include) an E (lovE finally).

26a         Practically gone with inert vaporised gas (8)
NITROGEN:  Anagram (vaporised) of the first three letters (practically) of GONe with INERT.

27a         Rakish, the Parisian stifling cry of pain (6)
LOUCHE:  A French definite article placed around (stifling) what you might say when something hurts.

28a         Cold and idle hanging around small corridor (8)
CLOISTER:  Start with C(Old) and follow with a word meaning to idle or linger placed around (hanging around) an S(mall).

29a         Donations following ends of priest’s hymns (6)
PSALMS:  Some charitable donations to the poor or needy after PS (ends of Priest’S).


1d           Fish settle around top of ice (6)
PLAICE:  Put a word for to settle or to put in a particular position around an I (top of Ice).

2d           Grass due to face time trapping bloke (9)
INFORMANT:  A grass as in a tell-tale.  He’s a phrase (2,3) meaning you are due something and a T(ime) placed around (trapping) a bloke.

3d           Time is pressing? (7)
EVENING:  A time of day which could loosely mean pressing as in removing the creases.

5d           American writer close to Walt Whitman? (4)
POET:  A famous American writer followed by a T (close to WalT) gives what Walt Whitman is an example of.

6d           Like former US President missing old state (7)
ALABAMA:  Start with a French phrase (1,2) meaning like or in the style of and follow with a recent US president but without the O (missing O(ld)).

7d           Teacher‘s expression of disapproval over arithmetic, perhaps (5)
TUTOR:  An expression of disapproval followed by O(ver) and what arithmetic, along with reading and writing, is an example of.

8d           Don’t leer horribly, it’s suggestive (8)
REDOLENT:  Anagram (horribly) of DONT LEER.

11d         Look, part of leg limps excessively (7)
GLIMPSE:  The first lurker.  It’s hidden (part of) in the last three words of the clue.

14d         King nearly takes unoccupied pieces (7)
KNIGHTS:  These pieces are chess pieces. Start with a king, not R but the one from chess notation, then a word meaning nearly or close and finally TakeS with the middle letters removed (unoccupied).  Any excuse . . .

16d         The same pattern, retaining knot (hitch) applied evenly (9)
IDENTICAL:  Take a word meaning pattern in the sense of the best possible example of something and insert the even letters (applied evenly) from KNOT HITCH.

17d         The man’s agitation seeing Jennifer Lopez, for example (8)
HISPANIC:  This is a word describing Jennifer Lopez’ ethnic origin.  If split (3,5) it would be a phrase meaning the man’s agitation.

19d         Presenters like to accept new job cut (7)
ANCHORS:  An American term for TV presenters is a word (2) meaning like with N(ew) and a job without its last letter (cut) inserted (to accept).

20d         Tapers point on pointed missiles (7)
NARROWS:  A point of the compass on some pointed missiles fired from a bow perhaps.

21d         Individuals doing little except remain sedentary initially (6)
IDLERS:  First letters (initially) of the other words in the clue.

23d         Dated being in severe trouble (5)
RETRO:  Nothing to do with girl or boyfriends, it’s dated as in old.  It’s lurking (being in) in SEVERE TROUBLE.

25d         Iron outside of tie for party (4)
FETE:  The chemical symbol for iron  followed by TE (outside of TiE).

There’s quite a few good ones here but I think the rather splendid all-in-one at 21d has to be my favourite.

Quick crossword pun:    STAY     +     TUM     +     HIND     =     STATE OF MIND

54 comments on “DT 28610

  1. A cracking good workout today. Lots of the usual fun from RayT. Unfortunately now that I have learned his devious ways it all goes in far easier than the days of the great battles that usually left me battered, bruised and beaten. Thanks to all on this site for helping me to get there. Thanks to pommers for the review which I am about to scrutinise with a fine tooth comb. Thank to RayT too

  2. 3* / 4*. This was a typically very enjoyable Ray T today, at last after too long an absence from the back page. Many thanks to him for the entertainment. 24a was my runaway favourite with 6d in second place.

    I couldn’t fully parse my answer to 2d as I was trying to make “due to face” clue the first five letters, and so I was very glad of pommers’ review, for which many thanks.

    P.S. Good to see our boys eventually putting up a bit of fight down under this time.

  3. Just now taking pommette to Alicante airport so back in about 90mins. She’s visiting her aged parent who’s been admitted to hospital.

    See y’all later.

    1. Oh dear – none of us likes to be hospitalised but for an elderly person it can be quite traumatic. I do hope that pommette’s visit reassures her dear Mum. Best of wishes to both of them.

    2. Ta for the good wishes. I’ll let you know but it don’t look too good. That’s why pommette has shot back at such short notice – like she booked the flight at about 1100 this morning and it takes off at 1500!

  4. Obviously a Ray T production, very enjoyable with some head scratching, completed at a gallop – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 13a, and 6d – and the winner is 12a.

    Thanks to Ray T and pommers.

  5. Interesting puzzle today strangely found the down clues more of a tussle, nice to see RayT on sparkling form and to Pommers for an entertaining blog.
    Not sure about a favourite but 15 & 18a must be in there somewhere.
    Its good to beback folowing some R&R in hotter climes. Unfortunately Mrs Spook took a liking to Dubai. Credit card has shrivelled.

  6. A welcome return to Ray T and many thanks for this pretty straightforward and very enjoyable puzzle. As pommers says in his preamble, all the usual suspects are on display, and it was all very solvable without too much fuss. 24a a clear favourite and overall 2* /4* .

    Thanks to both the aforementioned.

    Good to see a real fight back in Perth this morning, and the endless sun and blue sky out there certainly cheered up this corner of the country.

  7. He promised last week (Beam blog) that he’d see us today and remained true to his word – what a Thursday treat.
    All the Ray T trademarks in evidence – only he could take an innocuous word like the answer at 24a and fit it to such a deliciously risqué clue! I also liked 12a&17d for similar reasons and thought 5d was cleverly constructed.

    Devotions to Mr T as always and many thanks to Pommers for the blog – nice to hear The Moody Blues again.

    1. Talking of setters popping in (which is always very much appreciated), did you see that in the very early hours of this morning Mister Ron did just that to claim ownership of Tuesday’s hitherto anonymous back-pager?

      1. Just spotted it before it dropped off the end of the ‘recent comments’ list. Poor man is obviously having a busy time of it – hope he doesn’t come to regret the decision!

  8. As Pommers says, a good amount of Ray T humour today, with a fantastic bird, repeated sex, horrible leering, and Jennifer Lopez agitating men. Very good, and thanks to all.

  9. Very entertaining puzzle and solved at a steady pace while watching the cricket. **/*****. I liked 7d, 16d17d with 6d being my favourite. Well done Mr T.

  10. First impression was somewhat daunting but quite soon began to sail through the South with a little more effort required in the North. Tied Favs 6d and 4a. Thank you RayT and pommers.

  11. Nice to see Ray T back with all his trademark clues on parade. The actual crossword was somewhat benign I thought, but maybe I have to concur with MP in his opening comment.
    I liked 28a and overall 2/4*.
    Thanks to Ray T, and to Pommers for the review.

  12. A wonderful crossword today. Like Miffypops and others, I used to be bruised and battered too with an ‘oh dear it’s Ray T!’ Think I’m over the fear now. At last the penny is dropping – I hope. Mr Ray please don’t up the anti for a while. Thanks to you and Pommers for a great solve.

  13. Not for the faint hearted today, plenty of difficult parsing with just enough easier clues to keep the interest up.
    Going for a ***/****, certainly enjoyable, not heard of 1a as an introduction before – from experience I expect it is right.
    No real favourites, thanks all.

    1. Beaver, from Collins online: ” …. is a book containing basic facts about a subject, which is used by someone who is beginning to study that subject”.

      1. We used to have primers at my junior school , although I can’t remember much about them .I think I whizzed them when I went to secondary school .But it’s so far back — hmmm

      2. When I first read your comment I thought you were describing a very obscure definition for “beaver”!

  14. A typical RayT with 2 nice long anagrams and 2 lurkers to get a start, Loads of innuendo and chuckles as usual, I am still giggling with regard to 24 and this must be my favourite. Too many good clues to mention them all. Thanks to RayT for brightening up a pretty grim day.

  15. Excellent puzzle with clever anagrams and well constructed clues. Needed the hints to fully parse 16d and 19d although both were solvable from the front of the clue.
    Very enjoyable. For me **/****
    Thx to all

  16. Never thought I would say this but it’s good to have Ray t back! I’ve missed him. Cracking puzzle. Jennifer Lopez gets my vote, but I could have chosen several more.

  17. I have memories of Kennedy’s Latin Primer from my long ago schooldays . Cracking puzzle, I’d panic if I met la López.

  18. Well, well, well, I actually finished a RayT puzzle! Admittedly with a lot of bungins that pommers unravelled. I did get one wrong, 5d, I won’t admit to what I did write!
    My fave was 6d, I won’t explain why.
    Thanks to RayT and to pommers. Sorry about pommette’s Mum.

  19. Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the review and hints. A super puzzle, great to see Ray T back. No major problems, just enjoyed it from start to finish. I liked 13a, a mini story. Thought the synonyms were really stretched in 2d, but I don’t mind that. Thought that both lurkers were well hidden. Last in was 5d. Favourite was 25a. Was 2*/4* for me. Wish it was Ray T every Thursday. Sorry to hear about Pommette’s Mum.

  20. Excellent fare. No real hold ups. NE last to fall. Did not parse 6d fully as no reference to the French in the clue, 15a took me longer than it should and after that I was left with 4a and 5d which went in in that order. I liked 10a and thought it perfectly acceptable and also 27a. Thanks Ray T and Pommers. Always good to read the hints to confirm parsing.

  21. It’s often said that absence makes the heart grow fonder, so Mr T’s long-awaited return delivered a delightful puzzle with all the usual trademarks, that have been certainly missed over the intervening weeks.

    My top three clues were 5d (favourite), 6d and 14d.

    Many thanks to RayT and Pommers. Hope the news on Pommette’s mum is not as bad as first feared.

  22. Still at the stage where a Ray T puzzle leaves me bruised and battered to quote Crack On. Although I finished it without the hints I never feel very satisfied. Maybe that’s due to the large number of “bungin’s” required to complete. Overall a fair puzzle, down to me to understand it better.

    Clue of the day 17d

    Rating *** / ***

    Thanks to Pommers ( hope things are ok Pommers) and Mr T.

  23. Really good fun and much appreciated. We checked the clue word count of course and all in order.
    Thanks RayT and pommers.

  24. Although completed I found this a bit of a struggle 😟 ***/*** Though realising that I have actually completed a Ray T before lights out makes me a lot happier 😃 I liked 27 & 28 across Thanks to Pommers and to Ray T 😬 Sorry to hear about Mrs P’s Mother

  25. A comfy old jumper of a puzzle: 1*/3.5* for my money, and favourite clue 19d. Thanks to Mr T and Pommers.

  26. No problems with this one today except that it took me a little while to get started, but other than that, an enjoyable solving experience.

    Thanks to RayT and pommers 1.5*/4*

  27. Evening all. Many thanks to pommers for the review and to all for your observations. Much appreciated, as always.


  28. Ray T’s back, and on good form. A little tricky in places, but ** for difficulty overall sounds right. Last one in 28ac, which was decidedly tricky indeed.

  29. Very enjoyable, it takes a long time to get your head around Ray-T’s puzzles, but When you do it’s well worth it.
    3d was my favourite. Last in was 12a which was a bung in as the bird was unknown to me.
    Well done England for at least making a game of it.
    Thanks all.

    1. Wavelengths again I guess Hoofs. Glad the old crystal set got tuned in. It is a tribute to this site & pommers etc that Ray T seems to have turned into a pair of comfy (ish) slippers for the many rather than the few.
      Typical RayT for me started at a gallop, then found progress slowing. My excuse was my very early morning watching the cricket caught up with me but it’s always the same with a RayT. Tests in Perth always seem to be played under azure blue cloudless skies.
      24a my COTD.
      Thanks to RayT, pommers and Messers Malan & Bairstow.

  30. I thought I was getting to grips with RayT but my try at today’s has scotched that idea.
    I was rubbish at this one..oh well…maybe I’ll do better at his next one.

    Thanks to RayT and to Pommers for the blog.

    All the best to pommette and her parents…..it’s never an easy time when elderly relatives go into hospital.

  31. I thought you’d all go for 24a as favourite because most of you seem to share my schoolboy sense of humour and that seems to be the case. I still think 21d is the best – the whole clue is the definition and the wordplay is embedded – perfect IMHO.

    News on pommette’s mum don’t look good but she has an appointment to speak to the docs tomorrow morning. Looks like kidney failure so . . .

  32. A tad on the mild side for a Ray T, but still a decent challenge with great clues and a very enjoyable solve. 3* / 4*.

  33. Excellent puzzle. Lots of fun with just the right level of difficulty. I really enjoyed the playful nature of the clues. Is that what you call “surface”?

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