DT 28633 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28633

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28633

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone. I’m not in any doubt at all that today’s crossword was set by RayT. I thought it was fairly straightforward, for him, but as usual I’m more than happy for anyone or everyone to disagree – I find it hard to judge difficulty and enjoyment when I know I’m doing the hints.

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

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


7a            Altering in development becomes intrinsic (8)
INTEGRAL — An anagram (in development) of ALTERING

9a            Some cut opiate leading to bliss (6)
UTOPIA — Our first lurker or hidden answer indicated by ‘some’ – it’s hiding in the middle of the second and third words of the clue

10a         Double victory by close of tournament (4)
TWIN — A victory or success follows (by) the last letter (close) of (tournament)T

11a         Represent criminals with connection, hiding irritated expression (10)
CONSTITUTE — Begin with our usual crosswordland criminals and follow them with a connection or a link which contains (hiding) a short irritated or disapproving expression which is often said twice

12a         Tour the French will make three times (6)
TRIPLE — A tour or an outing is followed by the French word for the

14a         Part, in essence, reveals theatricality (8)
ARTINESS — The second lurker of the day – the answer is hiding in the first three words of the clue

15a         Doubtful after sermon, extremely condescending (6)
SNIFFY — The first and last letters (extremely) of S(ermo)N are followed by an informal word that means doubtful or a bit on the dodgy side

17a         Straight leading man then oddly embraced (6)
HETERO — The leading man or protagonist contains (embraced) the alternate letters (oddly) of ThEn

20a         Sweet-talk — dupes are converted (8)
PERSUADE — An anagram (converted) of DUPES ARE

22a         Leader of English gathers backing and respect (6)
ESTEEM — The first letter (leader) of English is followed by a reversal (backing) of a word that means gathers or congregates

23a         Female faces fee increase, accommodating new consort (10)
FRATERNISE — Start off with the one letter abbreviation for F(emale), follow that with a synonym for a fee or charge and another one for increase or become more which contains (accommodating) N(ew)

24a         Like to be seen in church in suit (4)
CASE — A little short conjunction meaning like or in the same way goes inside (to be seen in) one of the many two letter abbreviations for church

25a         Help rejected in pub restaurant? (6)
INDIAN — A reversal (rejected) of a word meaning help is contained in a synonym for a pub or bar

26a         Adolescent born to revolt in great agitating (8)
TEENAGER — Another reversal (to revolt) – an adjective that means born, used in stating a woman’s maiden name, goes inside (in) an anagram (agitating) of GREAT



1d            Unknowingly posh answer — piercing answer, unfortunately (8)
UNAWARES — The one letter used to mean posh is followed by an anagram (unfortunately) of ANSWER which contains (piercing) the abbreviation for A(nswer)

2d            Government announced control (4)
REIN — A homophone (announced) of a word that means government

3d            Sage and onion top left in stock (6)
ORACLE — Begin with the first letter (top) of O(nion) and follow that with stock or ancestry which contains (in) L(eft)

4d            Sex described by discreet text on screen (8)
SUBTITLE — A little two letter word used informally to mean sex appeal or sexual activity is contained in (described by) a synonym for discreet or devious

5d            Body beginning to glaciate in Antarctica? (10)
CONTINGENT — The first letter (beginning to) of G(laciate) goes inside (in) a word of which Antarctica is just an example – that’s why it’s followed by a question mark – it could just as well be Europe or Africa

6d            ‘Good Morning America’ welcoming a time for break (6)
HIATUS — An informal way of saying ‘Good Morning’ or hello and the two letter abbreviation for the United States contain (welcoming) the A from the clue and T(ime)

8d            Starts to lead imposingly, approaching straight (6)
LINEAR — The first letters (starts to) of L(ead) and I(mposingly) are followed by another word for approaching or close

13d         Plant in a pot is potentially harbouring alien (10)
POINSETTIA — An anagram (potentially) of IN A POT IS contains (harbouring) the ugly little alien who was the star of a film

16d         Shameless criminal absconded within walls of Fleet (8)
FLAGRANT — A criminal – not the same one who was in 11a, think of another one – and a verb that means absconded or escaped go inside (within) the outer letters (walls of) F(lee)T

18d         Go too far, partner being topless on march (8)
OVERSTEP — A synonym for a partner or, to be terribly PC, significant other, without its first letter (being topless) is followed by march or walk

19d         Snooze, burying one’s face defiantly (6)
RESIST — To have a snooze or a bit of a break from whatever you’re meant to be doing contains the letter that looks like a one with the ‘S

21d         Task Queen performed on opening of do (6)
ERRAND — The usual two letters for our Queen and performed or staged are followed by the first letter (opening) of Do

22d         Regular supporting the Spanish team (6)
ELEVEN — Regular or uniform following (supporting) the Spanish word for the

24d         Chinwag harmlessly about trivialities initially (4)
CHAT —The first letters (initially) of the remaining four words of the clue

I particularly liked 23a and 3 and 16d. I think my favourite was 15a.

The Quickie Pun:- BOO + BEEP + RISE = BOOBY PRIZE

66 comments on “DT 28633

  1. I’d echo Kath’s straightforward for Mr T – and that was tackling it later than usual following my 20 min journey to work taking an hour and a half. If you have anything to do in East Kent today, I’d suggest giving it a miss

    Thanks to Kath and Ray for their parts in today’s production

  2. I really enjoyed this straightforward yet rewarding puzzle from Ray T. A good clue mix, including a couple of lurkers, and in 3d a worthy contender for COTD. Overall 2* /4* for me with many thanks to Ray and to Kath for her review.

  3. Certainly RayT in a fairly benevolent mood today but fun to solve nonetheless.

    Thanks to Kath and RayT */****

  4. 2* / 4*. Definitely Ray T today and very enjoyable it is too.

    Podium places go to 3d, 4d and (my favourite for its well disguised definition) 19d.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

  5. Very pleasant and enjoyable, completed at a gallop – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 23a, and 6d – and the winner is 6d.

    Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  6. A gentle but enjoyable puzzle today with all bar two of the across clues yielding on the first read through.

    Thanks to RayT and to Kath.

  7. Well I did enjoy the diverse cluing, but did not find the solve to be straight forward as most bloggers have, a ***/**** for me.
    Difficult to choose a favourite, liked 3 and 6d for their brevity.
    Thanks to Kath for the pics-loved the twins!
    Special mention too for the quickie pun

    1. I liked the quickie pun too although the second word took a while – I was thinking of the wrong kind of honk. :roll:

        1. I wasn’t – I was thinking of a completely different meaning rather than a different word for the same one.

  8. Well, I too had this solved in * time, but unlike Jezza, it was the down clues which flew in for me. I particularly like the adjacent trio of 4,5,6d.

    Not too sure about 17a, which was my last one in, is that a word or an abbreviation?

    Many thanks to Ray T and Kath.

    1. I wasn’t sure about 17a either so I looked it up. The BRB says that it’s a ‘short form’ so I looked that up to see what made it different to an abbreviation – it’s not in there so I’m none the wiser. Maybe someone will know.

  9. A very pleasant solve but certainly not too easy. **/**** for me, COTD 3 & 5d. Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  10. Yet another brilliant puzzle in what has become a classic week already, irrespective of what tomorrow has to offer!

    Certainly towards the easier end of the RayT spectrum, but there were so many excellent clues, I’ve decided to have separate Across and Down podia today. My favourite Across clues: 10a, 17a and 24a, my favourite Down clues: 4d, 5d and 16d.

    Many thanks to Mr Terrell and to Kath.

  11. Enjoyably challenging. NE was last to come into line. Stupidly it took a while to twig 14a and ditto 4d – must do better! Surely 25a is an adjective as opposed to a noun standing on its own. Liked 10a surface. Thank you RayT and Kath.

  12. Usual goodies from RayT with 2 rather nice lurkers. I was stuck in the Sw corner until I realised I had spelled 13 wrong! My favourite was 18 as it made me chuckle and I also liked 3 9 14 15 16 20 and 23. Many thanks to RayT and to Kath for the comments .

  13. I certainly found this taxed the old grey matter, but enjoyed it nevertheless. The 2 lurkers were especially tasty.

  14. Not difficult but nevertheless delightful. Got a bit hung up on ‘gravy’ being somehow involved in 3d but getting 11a soon sorted that out.

    Top four places on the podium going to 15a plus 4,6&16d. Special mention for the Quickie pun.

    Devotions to Mr T and many thanks to Kath for the blog – one of those 10a’s is going to have a terrible crick in its neck!

    1. Remembering your comments about Maggie Smith as Miss Jean Brodie the other day, I have a fun story about her. She had twin brothers and Alister was an architect who lived for a few years in Montego Bay.

      He told a tale of Maggie having a teddy with strabismus as a child that she called “Gladly.” When pressed about the reason for the name, she said, “remember the hymn, gladly my cross I’d bear?”

      1. Hadn’t heard that one, Merusa. Must admit that I had to look up strabismus – perhaps I’m fortunate in that I’ve never needed to know the word.

        1. In the days that Alistair was in Jamaica, his sister was an aspiring young actress, frequently “just resting!”

        1. I know this isn’t quite the point of the thread but my sister had a teddy bear called Kenneth – none of us, including her, had any idea why that was his name!

            1. PS – My bookmark is a birthday card that I made for my Dad in 1956. When he died in 1996 his secretary found it in a drawer in his desk.

          1. My gorgeous Dad was called Kenneth, but I have no information to suggest that he knew your sister when she was a little girl!

  15. Certainly not straightforward for me but then Ray T never is? Always feel somewhat unsatisfied completing a Ray T due to getting the answer first and then understanding the clue. Not all the clues solved like that but certainly more than for other setters. Being pragmatic about today’s puzzle just pleased to have done it. One day will be on his radar!

    Clue of the day: Like both 6d and 13d and fully worked those out to get the answer.

    Rating *** / ***

    Thanks to Kath and the setter.

  16. No question, this is RayT at his most benign. I actually completed it, albeit with a wrong, bunged in answer at 24a as I used “ch” for church. Silly billy.
    I found it tricky but not impossible. I’m sure that 15a is now in dictionaries, but, my word, it feels like slang.
    My fave was 6d, with 3d hard on its heels.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath for the review and pics.

  17. Clue words counted as usual and all in order of course. It all went together smoothly for us and a pleasure to solve.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  18. Sorry to go against the flow but I found this Ray T puzzle (as always) very difficult ☹️ ****/** having come to the blog late I am surprised at the lack of comments. Where’s Brian? Favourites were 6d & 25a Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the explanations 😃

    1. Like you I’m surprised by the scarcity of comments.
      Whenever we have a day like this on the blog when I’m doing the hints two things instantly come into my head.
      Firstly, have I done/said something awful that’s upset people – call me paranoid if you like . . .
      Secondlly, this is what it’s like for CS who does the reviews of the weekend prize crosswords week after week with few, if any, comments or appreciation.
      Perhaps we should all make an effort to read and comment on her reviews.

      1. Please don’t get paranoid about your reviews, Kath. I think I can safely speak for the majority when I say that blogs on Kath days are always a delight – straightforward in decryption, honest with regard to personal pitfalls and full of humour. Not to mention coming complete with a wealth of good pictorial illustrations.

        I do agree with you over the situation for CS (and Gnomethang). I really should remember to hold onto my scribbled upon copies of the prize puzzles until review date – I’ve often forgotten what trials and tribulations I may have gone through at the time!

        1. Second that, Jane. I always look forward to Kath’s reviews, she makes me laugh.

          I often read the CS and Gnomethang reviews but don’t comment. Maybe I should just say something, just to let her know I was there!

    1. Hi Mr T – thank you for going easy on us today. No doubt you’ll get your own back with the next Beam offering!

  19. There certainly wasn’t any galloping to the finish in this house. Ray T days are always a struggle for me, but Kath’s hints helped very much. I get half done, then some where I can solve but not sure enough to actually ink it in. But enjoyable nonetheless.

  20. Thoroughly enjoyable, and as others have observed on the easy side. A */** for difficulty? Last in 19d.

  21. For the first time in a long while I found this RayT particularly difficult and not so very straightforward at all. I did get there in the end after one or two of Kath’s very needed hints.6d & 17a caused me the most headaches. A very enjoyable challenge and on this occasion Ray was the clear winner. My thanks to him and to Kath for her help.

  22. Lovely puzzle as usual from RayT. A typically wonderful blog from Kath. Sometimes there is nothing to say. In,those cases we say nothing. Perhaps with everything falling so perfectly there is nothing to say. Ta to all.

  23. A fun crossword to kick off a fun day walking and fossil hunting in Lyme Regis. Nice quickie pun too.

    Thanks to Kath and RayT.

  24. Some found this easy, but it was the toughest puzzle of the week for me. I’d forgotten about ‘it’ for a certain word in 4d. I think that I forgot it last time, so I clearly haven’t committed it to memory. I couldn’t see the ‘ro’ bit of 17a, although I had ‘he’. I then realised I needed ‘leading man’, not just ‘man’. I’ve had better RayT days, but nothing wrong with the puzzle, just my solving ability. Many thanks to RayT and to Kath.

  25. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the review and hints. Very enjoyable, but quite on the gentle side for a Ray T puzzle. Last in was 22d. I liked 17a,but my favourite was 4d. Was 2*/3* for me.

  26. I thought this was about average for a Ray T, not particularly mild or gentle as some others found it. Great clues, a decent challenge and very enjoyable – as per usual from this brilliant setter. 3* / 4*.

  27. Catch up continues… a good Ray T crossword which took me a while to unravel. 17a was my top clue and 2/4* overall.
    Thanks to RayT, and to Kath for her review.

  28. Seiko spellchecker had to work overtime on this one-it failed on 17A though.
    Vis-a-vis 17A, had to laugh at the leading man being oddly embraced.
    Liked the picture for the hint to 1D.
    ***/***** for the puzzle.

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