DT 28621 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28621

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28621

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty **/***Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone. I’m not in any doubt that this is a Ray T crossword as it has all his trademark clues although it’s a bit short on innuendo. I found it at the gentler end of his range of difficulty.

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

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


1a            Eater’s vice possibly producing gut (10)
EVISCERATE — An anagram (possibly) of EATER’S VICE.

6a            Uncertain going without starter leads to fever (4)
AGUE — Remove the first letter (going without starter) of a synonym for uncertain or imprecise.

9a            Leave oddly sick sheep (5)
SCRAM — Follow the first and third letters (oddly) of sick with a male sheep.

10a         Check blunder in unfinished easing of international tension (9)
DETERRENT — Check here is a noun. A word meaning relaxation of strained relations, particularly between countries, without its final letter (unfinished) goes around a verb to blunder or make a mistake.

12a         Grand time with everybody on board ship (7)
GALLEON — The one letter abbreviation for G(rand) and a time or age contain (on board) a word meaning everybody or each one.

13a         Band introduces new material (5)
LINEN — A band or stripe contains (introduces) N(ew).

15a         Explosive record with Queen’s supporters (7)
HELPERS — A two letter abbreviation for H(igh) E(xplosive), another two letter abbreviation for an old vinyl record with lots of tracks on it, and yet another two letters for our Queen, with the ‘S.

17a         Unusually ace hut, a classy place (7)
CHATEAU — An anagram (unusually) of ACE HUT A.

19a         It’s fitting a professional’s conducting operation (7)
APROPOS — The A from the clue is followed by an abbreviation for professional, with the ‘S, which contains (conducting) an abbreviation for operation.

21a         Suspects bloke not quite facing curvy characters (7)
GUESSES — A three letter bloke or chap without his final letter (not quite) is followed by (facing) the plural of some letters of the alphabet which don’t have any straight bits (curvy characters). This was my last answer and it took far too long to get it.

22a         Bachelor closely following unusual dance (5)
RUMBA — A two letter abbreviation of a university degree (Bachelor) follows (closely following) a synonym for unusual or a bit peculiar.

24a         Pine box cut beginning to weaken arm (7)
LONGBOW — A verb to pine or wish for something, the first two letters of the second word in the clue (cut) and the first letter (beginning to) of W(eaken).

27a         Plant from Iceland in Essex (9)
CELANDINE — Our first lurker or hidden answer, indicated by the word ‘from’.

28a         Tolerate a tender sweetheart (5)
ABIDE — The A from the clue, a tender or offer and the middle letter or heart of swEet (sweetheart).

29a         Encouraged to contain northern advance (4)
LEND — A word meaning encouraged or influenced which contains the abbreviation for N(orthern).

30a         With crew on leave empty ship is light (10)
WEIGHTLESS — The one letter abbreviation for W(ith), a crew of a long rowing boat, the first and last letters (empty) of L(eav)E and the two letter abbreviation for S(team) S(hip).



1d            A piece of cake each, say, after vacation (4)
EASY — The two letter abbreviation for each and the first and last letters (after vacation) of SaY.

2d            Shifty liar suppressing corrupt urge — resistance is wavering (9)
IRREGULAR — Two anagrams and a bit of jiggery-pokery going on here. Start off with an anagram (shifty) of LIAR and put that round (suppressing) another anagram (corrupt) of URGE and then finish that lot off with the abbreviation for R(esistance).

3d            Arrived on top of large beast (5)
CAMEL — Arrived, reached or got to followed by (on top of) the abbreviation for L(arge).

4d            Steers with these, right, and cows have these! (7)
RUDDERS — Begin with R(ight) from the clue and follow that with the dingly-dangly bits that distinguish a female cow from a male one.

5d            Huge bird seen above a French city interminably (7)
TITANIC — Start with a small bird – there are lots of varieties of them which include blue and coal – then the A from the clue and finish off with the first three letters (interminably) of a four letter city in southern France.

7d            Get good and thin (5)
GLEAN — The one letter abbreviation for G(ood) is followed by thin or skinny.

8d            Put out, former wife can spout about one (10)
EXTINGUISH — The usual two letters for a former wife (or husband or anything else come to that), a can or similar container and then a word that means spout or torrent which contains (about) the letter that looks like a one.

11d         Excuse concerning the French, like English (7)
RELEASE — Two letters meaning concerning or about, one of the French words for ‘the’, a little word that means like or in the same manner and finally the abbreviation for E(nglish).

14d         Dramatic act hit with Lear indisposed (10)
THEATRICAL — An anagram (indisposed) of ACT HIT and LEAR.

16d         Account for axle pin coming loose (7)
EXPLAIN — Hot on the heels of the previous clue another anagram (coming loose) of AXLE PIN.

18d         Dancing reels with ex (9)
ERSTWHILE — And, a bit like buses coming in threes, an anagram (dancing) of REELS WITH.

20d         Savour anger getting cross (7)
SALTIRE — Savour or taste is followed by anger or rage.

21d         Origin’s English, showing root (7)
GINSENG — Our second lurker of the day (showing) – the answer is hiding in the middle of the first two words of the clue.

23d         Amazed expression going round the Italian city (5)
MILAN — An interjection expressing surprise or admiration contains (going round) the Italian word for ‘the’.

25d         Be overly arrogant spouting tripe initially (5)
BOAST — A Ray T special – the first letters (initially) of the remaining words in the clue.

26d         This compiler finally sets small problem (4)
MESS —How the setter would refer to himself is followed by the last letter (finally) of (set)S and the one letter abbreviation for S(mall).

I liked 21 and 30a and 4 and 8d.

Now then, about the quickie pun – this caused trouble, lots of it, but this is what I think it has to be and MP agrees so thanks to him for the moral support. If anyone else has a better idea please say so.

SPARE + SURE + LOPS = SPECIAL OPS (Even though the paper doesn’t have the first three across clues in italics which it normally does if the pun is made up from more than the first two clues – oh well!)

57 comments on “DT 28621

  1. 3* / 4*. The usual excellence from Ray T – good fun and nicely challenging with the SE corner the last to fall.

    Did the master of brevity actually use a superfluous word today – “closely” in 22a?

    My podium comprises 15a, 5d (favourite) & 14d.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

    P.S. I’ll be away for a few days – back mid next week. Be good, and wishing a very Happy New Year to all.

  2. Hi Kath. Yes,a Ray-T production and at the easier end of the scale,I thought.
    Lots to enjoy. For some reason the anagram at 1a jumped straight out at me which made the top half ok.
    I thought 27a and 21d were both excellent lurkers.
    18d was a super anagram and ticked the ‘fav’ box for me.
    Thanks Kath and Ray-T

  3. Two excellent lurkers set the tone for this very enjoyable Ray T production this morning. Some of the anagrams were top notch, and 10a was my favourite clue. 2* /4* overall from me, with many thanks to Ray and to Kath.

  4. It’s a funny old world, somedays lifes a bowl of cherries and then on other days it’s just a charade!

    That convoluted sentence is my rather heavy-handed way of describing todays puzzle. Loads of anagrams, loads of ‘charades’, a couple of hidden words and the odd initial letter clue!

    In fact, a fine work out and a very enjoyable test, a little easier than the others this week, very enjoyable!

    The heads back to normal today, my blood sugar level is fine, and even the dog was in a good mood this morning. The Boss is planning New Years Eve and has gone downtown to empty Waitrose of anything vaguely edible – she’s even after another freezer in the garage – has she never heard of global warming!

    1. Mick, according to a discussion I’ve seen on another forum, modern freezers are designed to work at room temperatures, not outdoors, something about how they achieve their “green”ratings. Seems like a good excuse for you not to indulge The Boss on this occasion.

  5. Solved sadly thinking of Tom Pride. Excellent clues but no longer the struggle RayT used to provide. Last two in 21ac and 21d. Thanks to RayT and thanks to Kath.

  6. I’ve done about 2/3 of this and will finish it later at home. It seems about average for Ray T and very enjoyable. 4d is my favourite – with its bovine misdirection. Up to now, 3* / 4*.

  7. Well – I spent SO long trying to decipher the Quickie pun, just as well that the back-pager was at the easier end of Mr T’s repertoire!
    I’d quite decided that we were only going to see my favourite setter every four weeks from now on – it was a lovely surprise when he turned up this morning. Let’s hope he’s back into his fortnightly routine.

    Think I’ll go along with Hoofit and nominate 18d as favourite.

    Devotions to Mr T and many thanks to Kath for the blog – it had never occurred to me to wonder what 21d actually looks like in its growing state!

  8. Thanks to Ray T for the rather gentle (for him) puzzle and to Kath for the usual excellent blog (especially for confirming what was the only thing I could think of for the Quickie pun).
    In 13a I can’t see how ‘introduces’ works as a containment indicator – I think it has to mean ‘precedes’ or ‘leads to’ here.

  9. A very pleasant and enjoyable experience completed at a gallop – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 19a, 24a, 28a, 1d, 8d, and 25d – pick one.

    Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  10. Rain rain rain in Thailand, where I am spending my holiday, so lots of time for crosswords. SE corner last in today. 3d made me chuckle; enjoyed assembling 8d and 24a and had to check 27a was a word… All good fun.

  11. Completed at a gallop, but just had to pull up a little coming into the SE home straight. **/*** for me.

    I think the 13a “Introduces” is meant as “come before”, the “N”ew is the second occurrence, not the first – otherwise the band would be a lien.

    Many thanks to Ray T and Kath.

    1. Yes – you’re right about 13a. Not thinking quite straight – in fact not really sure if it’s Christmas or Clapham Junction today. Apologies.

  12. Hot on the heels of two very enjoyable, but not too difficult back pagers this week comes another one. Many fun clues with my particular favourites being 18d, 21d & 10a. Thanks to the setter, who I’m sure is RayT and thanks also to Kath.

  13. Another enjoyable RayT. It’s hard to pick a favourite, but 7d seems seasonally appropriate and Kath’s hint for 4d made me smile.

    Thanks to RayT and Kath.

  14. Same as Miffypops today the 21s were the last ones in today. I missed the lurker in 21d and even with the starting letter and the hint 21 a needed more caffeine to drop. 5d and 8d were my faves today.
    Thanks to Kath and Ray T.
    I’ll postpone comments about the quickie pun until I can wrest the dead tree version from mother.

  15. After yesterday’s struggle it was a relief to feel I may have most of my marbles back thus facilitating this nicely testing and very enjoyable RayT offering. Stupidly failed to recognise significance of ‘vacation’ in 1d. No real Favs but liked 20d. SE corner last to fall. TVM RayT and Kath and Happy New Year to you both.

    1. Quickie pun eluded me – no wonder as only word I came up with for 7a was bobs so congrats for fathoming it and thanks for putting me straight Kath.

  16. Excellent! After yesterday’s horror, this was a real pleasure. Not sure if I’m getting on his wavelength or he is being kind. Whatever a real pleasure to solve.
    So many well structured clues it is perhaps invidious to select a favourite but here goes – 21d followed closely by 19a.
    Thx to all especially to Ray T to whom I feel I must apologise after being rather rude about his puzzles in the past.

    1. I think he was taking pity on us today – or more probably lulling us into a false sense of security.

      Standby for a real snorter – any day now!

  17. As one of the many ‘lurkers’ who read this blog most days I am driven by the plea in the introduction to make myself known and say hello. Not least that it took me longer than it should to spot two lurkers in today’s puzzle that I felt I should admit my failings.
    I greatly enjoy reading all the comments and am only frustrated when a particularly tough puzzle receives comments that it was straightforward.
    I often find RayT puzzles a struggle but enjoyed today which for me was in **/*** territory. I normally solve after lunch so most have commented by then but will do my best to add where I can. Well done on an excellent site.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      I hope that now you have ‘de-lurked’ we’ll hear from you again. It doesn’t matter when you comment – the blogger and the keen comment readers will always see your comment.

    2. Welcome from me too.
      I am SO bad at spotting lurkers – I mean the kind of clue rather than the people who read the blog but have yet to introduce themselves – that my latest tactic is to suspect one whenever there is a clue that I don’t quite understand. So far it seems to be working.

    3. Don’t worry about commenting after lunch, you’ll still get there before me, as I am just starting breakfast over here when the UK is already at lunch 😊

  18. RayT always provides witty and humorous puzzles and this was no exception. As usual a long anagram to start and 2 cunningly hidden lurkers. My favourite was 4 as it made me laugh and I also enjoyed 8 15 18 21a 21d 25 and 30. That’s 2 RayTs in a week so maybe he will get a weekly slot in the New Year, especially if we get a Crossword Editor who actually does his [or her] job properly rather than providing the weekly apology.

  19. A lovely puzzle to end the RayT year, the innuendo content may have been reduced but the enjoyment quotient certainly wasn’t.

    My top two were the amusing 4d plus 18d with its cleverly disguised anagram.

    Many thanks to Kath and to Mr Terrell for both this and all his other excellent backpagers during 2017.

  20. Seemed easy enough to me, but fun and fair – only 27a was obscure (for me) but straightforward to guess once the checkers were in….21a last in and favourite…very cold here in Boston….

  21. Definitely a gentler RayT today, I only had four unsolved in the SE corner, and one of those was because of bad handwriting, the “l” in 20d looked like a “c”.
    My fave was 4d, no doubt influenced by Kath’s amusing hint.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath.

  22. As usual with a Ray T for me a difficult puzzle. Needed to use the hints for a couple not something I normally need to do these days. Still can’t get on Ray T’s wavelength some good clues and lurkers so its down to me to sort the Ray T puzzles. Sooner than later I hope.

    Clue of the day 21d

    Rating 3.5* / 3*

    Thanks to Kath for providing the hints I used, and also to Ray T.

  23. Needed help with 8d, 21d and 21a today so I count this a success for me with a RayT.

    Missed the lurker altogether at 21d and even with the hint and the checkers took a while to figure out 21a. Don’t have any excuses for 8d.

    Thanks to RayT and to Kath for the hints.

    If I do not think I will have time to come here again this year, so, Happy New Year to you all!

  24. Several clues were at the maximum length of eight words but none exceeded it so all in order once again. Plenty to keep us smiling as it all slotted together smoothly for us.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  25. Mr Terrell is being very gentle with us I feel…. once I realized GAUNT was a no-no, everything else fell into place fairly easily. Most unusual. Anyway, 8d was my top clue and 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to RayT, and to Kath for her review.

  26. Good evening everybody.

    Having failed miserably yesterday today’s puzzle proved doable but no less enjoyable. Last in 20d nearly defeated me so I’ll nominate that as favourite.


  27. It feels like I did this one quite a while ago. Must be some strange holiday time distortion. From what I can remember, it was a fun solve and I think I had 30a down as favourite. Thanks to RayT and to Kath.

  28. On the easier side for RayT, maybe ** for difficulty? One or two not understood on solving, including one hidden word to my shame! Finished in the SE corner, with 18d last to fall.

  29. Evening all. Many thanks to Kath for the decryption and to everybody else for your comments. I wish you all a Happy New Year.


    1. Good evening, Mr T and a very Happy New Year to you as well. I know that I’m probably wasting my time (again) but please don’t forget that the next Birthday Bash is on 27th Jan…………..

    2. Thank you for dropping in – thank you, too, for all your wonderful crosswords throughout the year and a Happy New Year to you.

  30. Definitely a good puzzle today, thanks Ray T and Kath. Agree that both 21s were holdouts, and 24a also as I was only thinking about limb type of arm… Enjoyed yesterday’s also, just didn’t have time to comment having got back late from the post Christmas sales.

  31. I know that it’s still early but I’m going to bed soon. I’ve probably averaged five hours sleep per night over the last three and I don’t really function on that so night night and sleep well to all of you.
    Thanks to Ray T for the crossword and to everyone for the comments.

  32. Last one in was the lurker in 27a.
    Needed all the checkers to finally spot it.
    4d made me laugh.
    Wondered if there was such a thing as Detente Cordiale in 10a. Well that made me laugh too.
    Favourite is the charade in 30a.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath.

  33. Another delightful Ray T puzzle. 30a was last in because I just worked my way through from the NW corner to the SE. I did have to check a few on the way down. I filled in 14d realising it was an anagram, but then couldn’t see where the ‘h’ came in the 15a clue. Thank you Kath for your review and many thanks to RayT.

  34. Feast or famine…yesterday a famine, today. …a long and well chewed over ( and completed) feast…and before midnight! Many thanks

    1. Hello Inniskillig10. I have not seen you before so I welcome you to this blog. RayTs puzzles were exactly as you described them above for me until I discovered this site. Now I polish them off without a fight. Beware this blog. You too may become more competent. Then the fun will cease.

  35. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the review and hints. What a treat for my birthday, a good puzzle from Ray T. A bit on the gentle side, but very entertaining as usual. A couple of good lurkers. Queen, and some good clues. Last in was 18d, favourite was 19a. Was 2*/4* for me.

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