DT 28626 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28626

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28626

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Kia ora from Aotearoa.     
Happy 2018 everyone.
As we predicted last week our colder snap did not last long and we are back to dry warm conditions. Many of the houses around us are holiday homes so January is the time of the year when we have to share our environment with many more people than usual. This sort of weather suits them well and we console ourselves with the thought that they will all go back to their other homes soon.

Good fun again from Jay.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Unusual to capture house and river close-up (5-5)
SHORT-RANGE : The two letter abbreviation for house and the single one for river are inside a word meaning unusual.

6a     Almost break one’s back working for Eastern European (4)
SLAV : A verb that could mean ‘break one’s back working’ loses its last letter.

9a      Where a mountaineer’s often found time to travel? (3-4)
OFF-PEAK : Where mountaineers are to be found when they are either on the way up or on the way down.

10a     One new reason, it’s said, for anger (7)
INCENSE : The Roman numeral one, the abbreviation for new and a homophone of a word meaning reason or intelligence.

12a     Prisoner’s put by standard allowance, resulting in flare-up (13)
CONFLAGRATION : String together a three letter prisoner, a standard that waves in the breeze and an allowance or allocation.

14a     Go round dog and leg it (4,4)
TURN TAIL : A word for go round and then dog used as a verb.

15a     Queen’s song makes worker on edge (6)
ANTHEM : A worker insect and then an edge, usually found on a fabric.

17a     Weapon, long thing pointing seaward, portrayed by artist (6)
RAPIER : An artist belonging to the Royal Academy and then something you might find at Blackpool or Brighton.

19a     The French will be taken in by gentle touch, being inattentive (8)
CARELESS : A gentle touch surrounds one of the French definite articles.

21a     Space for a 180 — or roundabout? (7-6)
TURNING-CIRCLE : Double definition. The first describes an area in which a vehicle can go in the opposite direction without having to do a three-point turn and the second could describe a rotating disc-shaped object.

24a     Lots of you heard adolescent grabbing politician (7)
UMPTEEN : The letter that sound like the word ‘you’, then a member of parliament and an adolescent.

25a     Sparkle shown by good little piggies? (7)
GLITTER : The abbreviation for good, then a collective term for young swine.

26a     Friends hot on equipment? (4)
KITH : The letter that denotes hot on a tap follows a word for equipment.

27a     Hid gear in a broken amplifier (7,3)
HEARING AID : An anagram (broken) of HID GEAR IN A .


1d     Work to support quiet retail outlet (4)
SHOP : An instruction to be quiet and an artistic work.

2d     Volunteer to take in unprotected sick policeman (7)
OFFICER : The central two letters (unprotected) of sick are inside a word for volunteer or put forward.

3d     One night I let off last of explosive, being compliant (6,3,4)
TOEING THE LINE : An anagram (off) of ONE NIGHT I LET plus the final letter of explosivE.

4d     All oak? I’d planned organic compound (8)
ALKALOID : An anagram (planned) of ALL OAK ID.

5d     Medal welcoming Italy’s departure (5)
GOING : An informal word for a medal includes the IVR code for Italy.

7d     Wish his broadcast could be extended, to an extent (7)
LONGISH : A word for wish or desire and then an anagram (broadcast) of HIS.

8d     National struggle with half of team filled with celebrities (10)
VIETNAMESE : A three letter word for struggle, then the first two letters (half) of ‘team’ surround celebrities or stars.

11d     Restrict soldiers before battle, producing series of events (5,8)
CHAIN REACTION : Restrict by using linked metal bindings, then engineering soldiers and a battle or affray.

13d     In awe of Sun’s commercial transport (4-6)
STAR-STRUCK : A heavenly body that the sun is an example of with its ‘S from the clue, and then a commercial road vehicle.

16d     To swing the lead is normal in Germany, to a limited extent (8)
MALINGER : A lurker hiding in the sixth seventh and eighth words of the clue.

18d     Trooper goes over favourite line of defence? (7)
PARAPET : An airborne soldier and a favourite.

20d     Kind of complex vote in Iran excluding outsiders (7)
ELECTRA : Vote in or democratically put into office and then the central two letters of Iran.

22d     Info that is providing spirit (5)
GENIE : The two letters representing the Latin phrase for ‘that is’ follow a word for info.

23d     Network needing golf free? (4)
GRID : The letter represented by golf in international radio communications and then free or do away with.

Quickie pun     purr    +    leaking     =      pearly king


66 comments on “DT 28626

  1. All went in quite easily, but I came to a grinding halt in the NE corner. After consulting a map, I got 6a. Mr Google confirmed that the band Queen did not sing a song about Antrim, then it all fell into place.

    Really enjoyable, that one! Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. Same for for me. NE corner last, with the admittedly fine 8d stumping me – until I too consulted a map and got 6a. Forgetting the usual suspect for “struggle” didn’t help…

  2. Happy 2018 to the 2Ks from an extremely windy East Kent

    This wasn’t so much a ‘start with thee Downs’ as a start halfway down the Acrosses, but once I got going I found it towards the user-friendly end of the Jay spectrum Thanks to him and the 2Ks too

    The Toughie is at the very friendly end of the middle-of-the-paper spectrum too, so give it a go and see how you get on

  3. Never get to this first. Enjoying my last day of the festive break and just enjoyed today’s grid at a canter. So feeling suitably smug enough to tackle the Christmas decorations. Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis

  4. Jay in relatively benign mood this morning. Straightforward, enjoyable and completed in good time. 21a was my favourite from 13d and overall I agree with the 2* /3* rating at the top of the blog.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks.

  5. I am very impressed by the lurker in 16d.
    15a took a bit of thinking about because not everybody has a Queen.
    All in all , a very nice puzzle.
    A Happy 2018 to the 2 Kiwis from a wet cold and windy Emerald Isle.

  6. A very enjoyable solve which began for me late into the across clues. Once some checkers were in it became plain sailing. Thanks to Jay for setting and thanks to the 2Ks for blogging.

  7. Got on well with this once I’d given up messing about with ‘ER’ and ‘air’ as part of 15a.
    Thought 16d was well hidden but saved the top spots for 25a which made me smile and 8d, my last one in.

    Thanks to Jay for his first puzzle of the new year and to our 2Ks for the blog.

  8. Another fine Wednesday puzzle; favourite clue 8d, followed by 16d.

    Thanks to Jay and to 2Kiwis.

  9. Thoroughly enjoyed doing the crossword, even if most of it was done in the waiting room at the dentist. Hadn’t heard of 20d as a complex before and the NE corner took a while. Not often I do the crossword on the same day as I usually do it late in the evening and it always seems pointless adding a comment to yesterdays crossword :)

    1. If you lived where we do you would get used to commenting on yesterday’s puzzles. That is what we do virtually all the time, the only regular exception is the Rookie Corner on Mondays.

    2. Don’t worry about being late. We’re 5 hours behind here so I’m always late on arrival.

  10. Thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle, which turned out to be somewhat gentler than I first thought. Was more than halfway through the across clues before putting an answer in, the downs proved more forgiving and then others began to fall into place nicely. Liked 12a , 8d and 24a made me chuckle.
    Thanks to all .

  11. This was an absolute delight to solve (with a little Chambers support). Completed at a gallop – **/*****.

    Candidates for favourite – 14a, 15a, 8d, 13d, and 20d – pick one.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

  12. Very enjoyable solve with probably the most originally hidden lurker I have ever come across in 16d. For me ***/****.
    Thx for the hints to parse 2d and to the setter for an excellent puzzle with a bit of science in 4d and nothing religious!

  13. Wow! Much easier today. I think my favourites are 12a & 11d. I would like a larger 21a in my locality. It would make life a lot easier.

  14. Another enjoyable puzzle from Jay. As usual too many good clues to choose a favourite. Like others ne corner held out the longest, with 6d last one in. Thanks to 2 ks and Jay.

  15. Are we sure this is a Jay? I started and finished this morning before my coffee was cold. That is not usually the case for me on a Wednesday. My lastt two in were 18d and 21 a which I left until last As not certain of the first word. Started off with 12a which I think we have seen (or something similar) before. I have circled 19. 24 and 25a and 13 16 and 18d but have no complaints with any of the clues. Thanks Jay and I shall now read your hints 2Ks to see if I missed anything.

  16. I didn’t spot the 16d lurker straight away. By the time I got to it I had some checkers -A—G-R so just guessed the answer from that. So, I thought, the INGER part is the IN from the clue followed by GERmany to a limited extent but why does MAL = NORMAL? It took a couple of minutes but the lurker suddenly became glaringly obvious, D’OH!

    16d has to be favourite out of a lot of great stuff. **/**** from me.

    Thanks to Jay for the usual Wednesday Wizardry and to the 2K’s for the blog

  17. I am not a regular contributor to this blog, but felt that I had to comment on 8d. A first class clue with a brilliantly smooth surface read. Wonderful stuff!

  18. My usual trouble parsing got me into trouble. Entered ‘Serb’ for 6a due to ‘break’ back and an ‘s’! Trying to fit ‘VIP’ into 8d didn’t help either. Got there in the end except for 20d which is new to me. 18d my favourite.

    Thanks to setter and 2K’s.

    1. Great minds… I thought “Serb” for the same reason. Toyed with Pole briefly too. It’s always very satisfying when these fall into place

  19. 1.5* / 5*. After a break from crosswords for a few days for the New Year festivities this made for a delightful return. Everything fell into place smoothly and all the clues were a joy to solve.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  20. A really pleasant offering today from Jay, some easy peasy, others requiring some more thought.
    Last in was 16d; first I had to look up “swing the lead”, didn’t know that, but it was such a well-disguised lurker, I didn’t tumble until the very end.
    Fave has got to be 24a, how clever is that.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis, Happy New Year to you.

  21. I also found this a **/**** and liked 16d and 8d best. Thank you to 2Kiwis for helping me to parse 8d.

  22. Very straightforward but elegantly clued as usual. My favourites were 6a, 8d and 20d.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Colin and Carol.

    P.S. Did anyone else see John Halpern, a.k.a. Dada (Telegraph), Punk (Independent) and Paul (Guardian), appearing as a contestant on “The Chase” yesterday? He didn’t win unfortunately, but he made it to the final chase at least, where he and his sole remaining fellow competitor were easily caught in the end.

    1. Not a programme I watch but mention of his appearance was made by one of the contributors to the blog on his Indy puzzle yesterday. Still awaiting your next appearance either in that other place or in our NTSPP slot!

      1. Hi Jane,

        Me too, although in fairness BD doesn’t currently have one of mine in his NTSPP queue – I shall rectify that in the next couple of days though!

    2. ‘The Chase’ is a very popular programme here and we watch it regularly. We’ll keep an eye out for that episode but it could be some time before it is played here. Thanks for the info.

    3. I did not watch last night’s as I was watching Pointless. It is however available on I Player for anyone who would like to watch it. I shall be doing so later!

  23. Thought this was Jay at his best with a really entertaing puzzle with some first rate clues. On Jay’s wavelength today, although 1a was last in couldn’t really see it until checking the2 K’s blog after completion. Worked the answer out at 26a without knowing the word, not for the first time, often happens to me.

    Clue of the day: Again so many to choose from but liked 12a and 13d.

    Rating 2.5* / 4*

    Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay.

  24. What great fun, not too easy but some nice teasers. 12 & 26a and 16d were super with 16d absolute COTD. Having spent my formative years in the infantry I can confidently say that every squaddie knows the phrase swinging the lead and also, as is often a strange military quirk, the word for the answer. Even so it took a long time to find – Brilliant Jay. Thanks to the 2 Ks, didn’t need you but thought I might a couple of times.

  25. Enjoyable solve made difficult by me entering Twinkle for 25a. Thanks for the clues and the excellent blog. **/***

  26. Morning all.
    We had great problems agreeing which one out of many we would pick for a favourite so opted to leave it open when we wrote the blog. Now that we have slept on the matter we will nominate the lurker in 16d as it gave us the same run around that others have reported above.

  27. A nice crossword full of good clues that we expect on a Wednesday 😃 **/*** My favourites were 24a and 11down 😊 🎈Happy New Year to Jay and the 2x Ks 🥂 and thanks to all concerned for making every Wednesday such good fun 🎈

  28. Slow to get going today, but relieved when the boxes started to fill up. Didn’t spot the lurker, and hadn’t heard of the complex so 20d was last in. Thank you to The 2KIWIS for the hints. Can commiserate with you regarding seasonal residents. We are in the thick of the “snowbird” season here in South Florida (the wingless variety), when all the beaches, restaurants and doctors’ offices get crowded. Even though we are bracing for another cold snap, it’s still a lot warmer than New York or Canada. However our beautiful granddaughter is visiting North Carolina with friends, and it is going to be a high of -6 C there tomorrow, brrrrr….

  29. This is the third time I try to post this:
    Learned a few new words in 21a, 26a and 20d.
    Got the C and the S of 10a in the right order for a change.
    Agree that the lurker was very good.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.
    Not being pedantic or anything but I thought 12a was a kind of inflammatory explosion. Could be wrong though.

  30. First time we’ve completed this (or any!) cryptic without recourse to Big Dave. Which probably warrants our first comment here.

    We are beginners and love this blog. Hello!

    1. Welcome to the blog, JoeandMaya and well done. I hope you’ll become regular commenters now that you’ve de-lurked.

  31. Perhaps edging towards a *** for difficulty here, particularly on the RHS where I struggled somewhat. Or perhaps the stress of driving 20 miles with a sticking brake has done for me. :-)

  32. Many thanks Jay and 2ks. I wrote more, but it’s been lost. Disappeared never to be seen again. Then I needed to have my browser checked again! Perhaps I spent too long reading the comments before I made my own. Favourite was the lurker in 16d, followed by 12a for it’s simplicity.

    1. I think you are correct – enjoy the blog then refresh the page just before you post. Works for me.

  33. Yeah, liked this one. 8d best.
    Enjoying the sun in Cape Town, hold onto your hats everyone in Blighty.

      1. The esplanade trees tell their own story. Wind is the norm. Guess we are lucky this time.

  34. I battled with this on and off without too much pleasure during a delayed train journey after seeing the New Year in down in Cornwall. Was able to finish off once returned home with access to some reference sources. Thank you Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  35. Enjoyed that!

    It’s certainly not warm or dry here in Devon.

    Favourites for me were 26a and 8d. I thought of some different four letter words until 26 clicked. Does the word exist anymore outside the phrase “kith and kin”, I wonder?

  36. Somewhat late on parade but still gotta comment! It’s become part of doing the cryptic crossword routine nowadays. Don’t worry about being late Owdman, just get your comments out!
    The usual pleasure doing a crossword from Jay. I too was momentarily caught by the lurker but I had sufficient checkers to get by. Only then did I realise… so that is my favourite.
    2/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Jay, and to the 2K’s for their review.

  37. Very late here – there just hasn’t been time to do any of the crosswords since Monday so I’m being bone idle today and catching up.
    As usual a lovely Wednesday crossword and one that I really enjoyed.
    The 15a ‘Queen’ had me completely foxed for ages which was silly.
    For once I didn’t have any trouble with the lurker so I’m feeling smug, specially as others did.
    Too many good clues to pick out any in particular so I’ll just thank Jay and the K’s.

  38. My NYR is to do the T crossword regularly. I’m new to solo work, my dad was the star. How do you remember all the indicators and be sure you have identified the definition correctly? I got about half of this one before getting stuck because I’d got a couple wrong like 1d. PP for quiet, RO for retail outlet, whole word meaning SUPPORT gives PROP. Brilliant to find Dave’s Blog. Thanks so much for your help.

    1. Welcome to the blog Claire.
      With 1d: that is clever thinking but as you see it is actually much simpler than that. Identifying the definition is a key starting point. The convention is that it is always either at the start or the end of the clue, so ‘support’ is not a good candidate for the definition.
      Our advice is to keep doing as you are doing. Get as far with the puzzles as you can and then come to the site and use the hints and tips to understand how the rest are put together. You’ll amaze yourself at how quickly it will all start to make sense.
      Please keep commenting and asking questions. There are lots of people here willing and able to answer questions and help and we all love to see the progress of people like you who are just getting in to it.

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