DT 28620 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28620

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28620

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.                

This is the time in New Zealand when everyone is on holiday except for retail stores. The climate gods have responded to this by sending in a southerly (which means cold here) spell of weather. We even had some rain that although it is very welcome, is not appreciated by those wanting to spend time at the beaches. It is not expected to last long and we should be back to warm sunny days by New Year.

Enjoy today’s puzzle from Jay.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     What Spanish viewed in strange dream as deception (10)
MASQUERADE : The Spanish word for ‘what’ (that we all learned from Fawlty Towers) is inside an anagram (strange) of DREAM AS.

6a     Supporters left, say, before the end of this (4)
LEGS : The abbreviation for left, then the two letters for say or ‘for example’ and the last letter of ‘this’.

10a     Cast lose on purpose (5)
THROW : Double definition. The lose on purpose relates to a sporting fixture.

11a     Low temperature needed by popular filling casserole is a contentious issue (4,5)
MOOT POINT : Low is a bovine utterance, next the abbreviation for temperature, then the two letter word for popular is inside a vessel for cooking a stew.

12a     Go too far, having finished marathon? (7)
OVERRUN : A word meaning having finished and then the question mark tells us that marathon is an example of this type of activity.

13a     Provide assistance for person taken in for broadcast (7)
SUCCOUR : We have a homophone (for broadcast) of what we might call a person taken in or duped.

14a     International match depicted in medal — not unusual in ancient books (3,9)
OLD TESTAMENT : An anagram (unusual) of MEDAL NOT has an international sporting fixture inside it.

18a     Menaces independent easily frightened, protected by people (12)
INTIMIDATION : Start with the single letter abbreviation for independent, then a word meaning easily frightened is inside a people or sovereign state.

21a     What might afford leverage with lawyers following Conservative argument? (7)
CROWBAR : The abbreviation for Conservative, then a word for argument or disagreement and a collective term for lawyers.

23a     Most of danger comes before fish dish (7)
RISSOLE : A four letter synonym for danger or peril loses its last letter and precedes a flat fish.

24a     Small garden tool with spikes? Boots may have them (9)
SHOELACES : The abbreviation for small, then a garden tool used for weeding and spikes as a verb meaning adulterates.

25a     Window secured by turning angle iron (5)
ORIEL : A reversed lurker hiding in the last two words of the clue.

26a     Clears area for cricket practice (4)
NETS : A double definition. Clears is used in a business finance sense.

27a     Essential details of supporters with loads (5,5)
BRASS TACKS : The supporters are the women’s underwear ones and then a colloquial word for loads or heaps.


1d     Second note concerning proposal (6)
MOTION : A two letter word for a second, then one of the notes of the tonic scale and a word for concerning or relating to.

2d     Course around globe is fixed (6)
SORBET : A word meaning fixed or established surrounds a spherical object.

3d     Taking off and leaving the Joneses behind? (8,6)
UPWARDLY MOBILE : The Joneses here are the people one must keep up with in the well-known expression.

4d     Contemplated strong drink at home before arranged date (9)
RUMINATED : Strong drink made from sugar cane, then the two letter ‘at home’ word and an anagram (arranged) of DATE.

5d     Medic overlooking things people have in hospital sinks (5)
DROPS : An abbreviation for a medical person and then the things people might have in the surgical department of a hospital.

7d     Sanctimonious volumes written in support of European models (8)
EPITOMES : Starting from the top we have the abbreviation for European, a short word meaning sanctimonious and then volumes or large books.

8d     Settled university fee that’s steep (8)
SATURATE : Settled as one might have on a chair, then the abbreviation for university and a fee or charge.

9d     For example, football magazine’s left on board (9,5)
SPECTATOR SPORT : A magazine first published in July 1828, with its ‘S and the nautical term for left.

15d     Takes the mickey out of modelled flowers (9)
SATIRISES : Modelled or posed and the flowers sometimes referred to as flags.

16d     See leader’s once said to have changed (8)
DIOCESAN : An anagram (to have changed) of ONCE SAID. ‘See leader’s’ can be paraphrased as ‘belonging to the person in charge of a group of parishes’.

17d     Ran for election elsewhere, and excelled (5,3)
STOOD OUT : Ran for election or was a candidate and then elsewhere or not at home.

19d     House signs (6)
ZODIAC : Think astrologically to understand what this clue is about.

20d      Young ladies in ecstasy, wearing rings? (6)
BELLES : The letter used as a shorthand for the drug ecstasy is inside cast metal objects that produce ringing sounds.

22d     Expert in pricey car? Possibly (5)
RACER : An all in one clue where an expert or adept is inside a prestigious luxury car.

Lots of good ones to choose from today but we’ll nominate 3d and 11a for top honours.

Quickie pun    high    +    toff    +    aim    =    height of fame

58 comments on “DT 28620

  1. Lots to enjoy in this excellent puzzle from Jay. 3d stood out as the COTD, and overall this was 2.5* /4* for me. Many thanks to the aforementioned, not just for today but for a year of top Wednesday crosswords. Thanks, too, to the 2Ks for their hard work during 2017.

    A dusting of snow here in the Marches, which looks stunning under a bright blue sky.

  2. No problems with this today. Given a ***** for difficulty by the DT website.
    Lots of great clues, I particularly enjoyed 1a.
    Thoroughly miserable day in South London, snow, rain, sleet and wind.
    Great to see England finally making a game of it in the cricket, pity it’s a month too late.
    Thanks to 2xK and Jay.

  3. A fine puzzle enjoyed at 5.30am after a wrestle with rhinitis. Thanks to Jay for the puzzle. Thanks to The 2Ks for the excellent blog.
    Snow here in Downtown LI too. Slushy stuff. Not much use for anything so I think it could be toughietime.

  4. Wow, I found that really difficult!
    My head is even thicker this morning than yesterday and the dog has refused to go out in the snow – who’s the boss around here? Definitely not me!

    I don’t know, maybe it’s the compiler that’s new or something but I just couldn’t get on with it and needed a lot of help. Ultimately not very satisfying IMHO.

  5. I also found this pretty stiff and more on a par with a Toughie.
    Lots of good clues in retrospect , such as 3d , 14a and 21a.
    Was it a Jay ?
    Thanks to all concerned.

  6. 4* / 5*. I found this very much at the difficult end of Jay’s spectrum but nevertheless immensely enjoyable.

    3d was my runaway favourite but 11a & 5d also deserve a mention.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  7. Just me then who found this at the friendly end of the Jay spectrum. I did enjoy the solve – I also particularly liked the possibility that one might need a 21a to eat one’s 22a :)

    Very wet and extremely windy here in East Kent – not a single snow flake to be seen – so definitely a day for interspersing the Christmas present jigsaw with making individual turkey pies for the freezer. I’m going back to the kitchen now to rescue the bubble and squeak and tell Mr CS to move away from the jigsaw as it is my turn now.

  8. Very enjoyable with many clever and amusing clues. Started slowly (watching the cricket) but solved steadily afterwards. 2.5*/4*. I liked 11a, 7d, 8d, 27a and 16d with 3d being my pick.

  9. This one has beaten me all ends up. Even the answers I can get I can’t parse. Would not disgrace the Toughie but too difficult for a backpager. I get somewhat annoyed when the DT put something like this on the back page, it just means the experts get two puzzles and the rest of us can go whistle!
    Thx for the hints

    1. Mr Manley is in today’s Graun -https://www.theguardian.com/crosswords/cryptic/2739 – see how you get on with that one

  10. Just at the right temperature for me which is more than I can say for the weather here at the moment!
    For some reason, 20d took a while to fathom and 16d was the last to fall.

    Liked the surface reads of 26a & 4d but the star turn was definitely 3d.

    Thanks to Jay and also to our 2Ks – I wonder what constitutes ‘cold’ weather to you!

    PS The Elkamere Toughie isn’t overly tough and quite good fun.

  11. I was fixated on V for volume in 7D so that one escaped me. Otherwise no real struggles and several smiles along the way. 3D is my pic today, followed by 24A. Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay.

    No snow here in Maryland, though Erie, PA got hammered over Christmas.

    1. I also spent some time hunting the unknown fish called an “Otto”. Oh dear, but did, eventually get there.

  12. I thought the answers needed a little more prising out than usual, but a 21a wasn’t quite necessary thankfully.

    My top three were 27a, 8d and 20d.

    Thanks to Jay for this and all his other excellent puzzles during 2017, and to the 2Ks.

  13. The Festive benevolence would appear to be at an end with today’s challenge!
    Slow start then slowly slowly did it for the rest. 3d was my top clue and 3/4* overall.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s for the review. What? Some rain? Never….!

  14. The usual good stuff from Jay, 27a my pick.

    Beach, 40mph wind, sideways hailstones – not a great combo, I discovered today.

    Thanks Jay and to 2Ks

  15. I’m in the tricky camp. I really had to winkle some answers out. I missed 2d completely, putting “sorted” simply because it fit. Oh dear!
    Does anyone remember this, re 13a: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJpoOlCbBrw
    I did need the hints to “get” a few, but I thought it was very enjoyable, fave being 3d, join the crowd.
    Thanks Jay and the 2Kiwis, hope your weather improves soon.

  16. Found this tricky but really enjoyed it. Got stuck in SE corner, also had incorrect answer for 5d, like a drip I put “drips” in but eventually sorted. Difficulty sorting 2d it was a bung in and also last in.

    Clue of the day 27a followed by 22d

    Rating *** / ****

    Thanks to the 2K’s and Jay.

  17. Today has been a good crossword day, not excepting this one. Beautifully refreshing too after the glut of seasonal themers (though for anyone with the appetite for another of those, I heartily recommend yesterday’s Indy).

    Thanks to Jay for another corker and thanks Kiwis for another great blog.

  18. First pass produced nothing, then over the afternoon it started to make sense. Finished it after a break for a snooze. Some excellent wordplay in some testing clues.

  19. Morning all.
    Still coolish this morning so perhaps another day when a jersey will need to be kept handy. As Jane noted above our ‘cold’ is only a relative term as clothing for our regular walks is still shorts and sandals with a jersey carried just in case there is a chill breeze along the beach.
    We keep wondering whether there will be a shuffling on setters coming up with a new editor in the offing and a vacant Monday slot to fill, but it does not seem to have happened yet and so we still have Jay Wednesdays to enjoy.

  20. A good crossword which took the right amount of time to solve. BUT is there a plural of Epitome (7down) My dictionary says not, but maybe someone can advise me differently.

    1. Welcome to the blog Lionel.
      We have edited your comment slightly to remove your solving time. We try to avoid using these on the blog as they are just sooo variable across the range of solvers.
      Have looked at epitome in the BRB (Chambers) where it lists the word as a noun with no suggestion that it would not make a plural in the normal way by adding an S. We do not have a problem with it.

  21. Oh damn – just wrote lots and now it’s disappeared – I don’t have the energy left to do it all again.
    I loved this crossword – I found it quite/very difficult.
    With thanks to Jay and to the K’s.

  22. A little tricky, though I was solving tired after a long day entertaining the in-laws, so I claim a handicap. Enjoyable throughout…

  23. We loved this crossword and finished while playing backgammon. Dulcie is disappointed because I came back from a losing position to win 21/20

  24. Very enjoyable and much to admire. 1a and 24a are my favourite ones. Three beat me: 1d, 7d, and 20d. Thanks for the hints without which I would have had to wait until tomorrow.

  25. I know it’s late but could someone please explain how (7d) PI is a short word for sanctimonious? Thanks and season’s greetings.

    1. Hi Sam. It is a shortened form of pious. It crops up on a regular basis and often gets a post such as yours. Commit it to memory. You will see it again.

  26. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle from Jay, a bit tricky in places. Perhaps I could coin the phrase “blurker” for a backward lurker? I new that 25a was oriel, but took me ages to parse it. This was my favourite clue. Brightened up a horrible day weather wise, where my car cigarette lighter, computer, and central heating all stopped working. Was 3*/4* for me.

  27. I also thought this a **** at least. My favourite was 1a simply because it reminded my of Fawlty Towers.

    I had reds for 6a which I didn’t realise was wrong until checking here. Silly boy!

  28. First time on blog, and way way behind many here in terms of completion, but wanted to thank those on the blog and compilers..in general very enjoyable. A little group of us use the blog to save our sanity after a 40 min teachers Lunchtime ” Brains trust”. During holidays it’s a solo effort…with varying success. …they are almost always ****/*****. Incidentally, there is an Otto fish…which completely messed up 22a ( Risotto) for me. ..also thought 25a was wedge….which is an iron and an angle with a W. lots to learn. Many thanks

    1. Welcome from us too. Look forward to further reports on how the ‘Brains Trust’ gets on with the puzzles.

  29. Thanks for the tips – wouldn’t have got any of these as obviously really not on the same wavelength as this complier!
    Very frustrating!

  30. I was reassured to find I was not alone in finding this very troublesome; so much so that I’m afraid I threw in the towel and put it down to an excess of festive spirit. Thanks nevertheless Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

  31. Took me a while and still managed to get the wrong answer for 7d. 11a is my favourite clue for many weeks. A challenging workout.

  32. I really enjoyed doing this crossword. There were some very nicely constructed and clever clues. Thank you to Jay, and to 2Kiwis for the comments.

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