DT 28638 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28638

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28638

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.     

We should really be called 3Kiwis this week as grandson Ollie has been part of the team with this one. We have been using this on-going spell of fine weather to take care of a painting chore and Ollie is with us for that team too.

We all enjoyed this Jay puzzle.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Fish around Isle of Man may be source of energy (7)
BIOMASS : The initials that identify the Isle of Man are inside a fish that sounds like a deep voice.

9a     Building material argument against Mediterranean island (8)
CONCRETE : The argument against is an antonym of ‘pro’, and the Mediterranean island has associations with the Minotaur.

10a     People having scruples about origin of trees (7)
MORTALS : The first letter (origin) of trees is inside scruples or worthy characteristics to live by.

11a     Insinuation of popular sister taking Ecstasy before party (8)
INNUENDO : The two letter word for popular, and the letter used for Ecstasy is inside a religious sister, then finally a party or get together.

12a     Buddy left gold showing a lack of colour (6)
PALLOR : A buddy or close friend, then the abbreviation for left and heraldic gold.

13a     New fruit pots containing Eastern biscuits (5,5)
PETIT FOURS : An anagram (new) of FRUIT POTS which includes (E)astern.

15a     Hat like picador displays (4)
KEPI : A lurker hiding in the second and third words of the clue.

16a     Generic shifts observed by company caretaker (9)
CONCIERGE : The abbreviation for company and an anagram (shifts) of GENERIC.

21a     Opportunity to purchase small beer (4)
SALE : The abbreviation for small and a type of beer.

22a     Masculine type goes public, producing delivery vehicles (4,6)
MILK FLOATS : The abbreviation for masculine, then a type, sort or kind, and ‘goes public’ as a business might on the stock exchange.

24a     Championships appearing in TV credits (6)
TITLES : Double definition.

25a     Lab equipment trial with London Underground (4,4)
TEST TUBE : A synonym for a trial and the common name for the London Underground.

27a     Persuasive talk from Liberal in argument (7)
BLARNEY : The single letter abbreviation for Liberal is inside an argument or ruckus.

28a     Learned from two journalists accepting a cut criminally (8)
EDUCATED : Two senior journalists are placed either side of an anagram (criminally) of A CUT.

29a     Agents in Laos unhappily shunning company (7)
ASOCIAL : Agents who do espionage work for the USA are inside an anagram (unhappily) of LAOS.


2d     Mislaid details about head of Olympics being quarantined (8)
ISOLATED : An anagram (mislaid) of DETAILS contains the first letter of Olympics.

3d     London police in charge, kettling everybody — that’s harsh (8)
METALLIC : The London police (not Scotland Yard, the other ones) and the abbreviation for in charge are enclosing (kettling) a word for everybody.

4d     All a person needs to change energy supplier (5,5)
SOLAR PANEL : An anagram (needs to change) of ALL A PERSON.

5d     Depressed, out of action, drink (4)
DOWN : A clue type we don’t see very often, a triple definition.

6d     Scrape involving right messy sort (6)
SCRUFF : Scrape or roughly abrade contains the abbreviation for right.

7d     Most of dwelling accommodating a German is atrocious (7)
HEINOUS : A type of dwelling loses its last letter and encloses the German indefinite article.

8d     Courage, as the girl’s love is married (7)
HEROISM : ‘The girl’s’ gives us a feminine possessive personal pronoun, then the tennis score love, ‘is’ from the clue and the abbreviation for married.

11d     Complicated at home, worried after endless deception (9)
INTRICATE : The two letter at home, then remove the last letter of a word for a deception, and end with worried as a dog might have done with a bone.

14d     Goes and covers roof and points of entry (10)
TURNSTILES : Goes or opportunities and puts a specific type of covering on a roof.

17d     Mysterious English boozer to the north of Morecambe (8)
ESOTERIC : The abbreviation for English and a heavy drinker are to the north of (on top of in a down clue) the first name of Mr Morecambe.

18d     A mistress full of energy needs a special cosmetic ingredient (4,4)
ALOE VERA : This answer starts and finishes with A’s from the clue. Between these we have a mistress or paramour with the abbreviation for energy inside.

19d     Suppress son and parent (7)
SMOTHER : The abbreviation for son and a maternal parent.

20d     Shut down, getting shot (5-2)
CLOSE-UP : A double definition. The shot here would probably be achieved with a cell phone these days.

23d     Tycoon‘s overweight pet? (3,3)
FAT CAT : Double definition.

26d     Fostered source of rancour in graduate teacher (4)
BRED : The first letter of rancour is inside the degree held by many school teachers.

Our favourite today is 18d.

Quick crossword pun     pope    +    hurry    =      potpourri


69 comments on “DT 28638

  1. 2* / 5*. A nice smooth solve for a Wednesday puzzle which was not difficult but as brilliant as ever.

    27a was my last one in. I can’t recall a recent multiple definition which was more than a double, so it was good to see a triple turning up in 5d.

    Jay really has mastered the art of charades which are not too wordy but which have smooth surfaces, and 17d & 18d, my joint favourites today, are prime examples.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 3Ks.

      1. Virgilius is indeed the master of multiple definitions (on occasions even managing more than triple) but I can’t recall him doing so recently…

        … but please don’t ask me to define “recently”. Mr Kitty, there’s a challenge for you!

        1. Mr K, I have just noticed that my challenge is ambiguous. I was trying to ask you when Virgilius last gave us one of his more than double definitions, not to define “recently”!

          1. Hi, RD. I tried back in DT 28320 to identify multiple definitions with a computer search that combined my database with a huge list of synonyms. But the exercise failed because computer programs, at least the ones I can write, aren’t able to parse clues. Perhaps Senf or CS can recall when they last met a triple definition on a Sunday?

            One fairly recent and memorable high-order multiple definition is the four-word quadruple at 11d in DT 28392

            1. Not that easy, there were two recent occurrences where either CS or me or both of us could not decided if a clue was a triple definition or not – ST2920/1a and ST2928/10a – just examples of Mr Greer’s clever cluing.

  2. Another fine Jay Wednesday offering. I wonder how many of the youth of today would know what a 22a is?

    Thanks to Jay and the 3 Kiwis

    1. My offspring know what 22a is because we still have one. Not with a horse. It even sells the little bottles of orange juice.

    2. There’s a depot just around the corner from us with milk floats that go out every morning. And yesterday I saw a commercial on TV that showed a woman in a kitchen with a pint of milk in a glass bottle on the worktop, so I assume that’s who they’re delivering to.

    3. And the added bonus of the milk delivery was being able to leave a note out for a loaf of bread, eggs etc when you were running short. Such a convenience. Now we lug home 1 gallon bottles of milk… ah the good old days.

  3. I think RD at #1 has pretty much summed up my feelings about this excellent Jay puzzle. Although it all went in smoothly, I then took the time to reread the clues against my answers, and realised just how good the whole crossword is; brilliantly concise clues, lovely smooth surfaces and an absolute joy from start to finish. 11a and 17d were co-favourites and overall 2* /5*.

    Many thanks to all four birds involved in today’s production.

  4. Steady solve for me today, not too taxing.
    There were some excellent clues, favourites 18d,22a, and like RD , I thought that the charades stood out.
    Went for a **/**** on completion.
    Growing some 18d at the moment, looks like a Triffed having a bad hair day!
    Thanks all.

  5. Nicely testing and amusing. SE corner last to yield. I don’t think of 13a as being necessarily a biscuit – pastry or US cookie possibly. Gave myself extra hassle by plumping for ‘power’ as second word in 4d and ‘thresholds’ for 14d. Joint Favs 17d and 20d. Many thanks Jay and all the K’s.

  6. Another satisfying puzzle from Jay with no problems to report from this end.

    Liked the short and sweet 23d but my top two were 17&18d. Looks as though those could become the popuar clues of the day.

    Thanks to Jay and to the 2+1K’s – how nice to see your grandson taking an interest in cryptics. Perhaps there is hope for the future!

  7. All done in ** time, but 27a was the last one in for me too.

    I’m really not sure that 13a should be allowed. Still, we won’t have to put up with any of that foreign nonsense after March next year, will we? Harrruummph.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 3Ks.

    1. 13a was commonly used in U.K. long before the EEC (1957) and the EU (1993) so wonder why it should disappear in March next year?!

        1. What? I haven’t looked at that. Cough-cough-splutter, (wipes tea off paper) Not only continental, it’s got that bloke in a funny hat in it! Better have one of me pills.

          1. Don’t get your knickers in a twist, it could also be “popery”, which was my first thought.

  8. Very gentle but very pleasant. Agree with the above comments that the clues were smooth and concise. 1.5*/3.5*. I rather liked 17d, 18d, 27a, 5d with first prize to 29a.

  9. Great stuff from Jay as usual, more supporting evidence that a puzzle does not need to be hard to be entertaining.

    11a is of course always a favourite, but I was more impressed with some elegant surfaces which rang true. I liked the reviewers’ favourite and also 3d and 8d. 5d probably wins.

    Thanks to Jay and the 3Kiwis.

  10. With the missus off to Pilates class, I used the peace and quiet to enjoy this excellent crossword. Last in was 27a. Hard to choose favourite. 2.5/3.5
    Is today the time to sow the tomato seeds in the greenhouse I wonder? We feel we should be doing something.
    Thanks to J & K & K.

  11. A gentle very enjoyable Jay completed at a fast gallop (just) – */****.

    Candidates for favourite – 22a, 25a, 3d, 17d, and 23d – and I think the winner is 3d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 3 Ks.

  12. As Angellov, I bunged in power in 4d before realising my mistake.
    Last one in was 10a and favourite.
    Thanks to Jay and to 3kiwis for the review.

  13. I struggled a bit woth this one for some reason just couldn’t get on Jays wavelength. However after a struggle and thesaurus searching coupled with my incorrect spelling of 12a I finally made it.
    Thanks to Jay and 3Kiwis

  14. Good afternoon everybody.

    Mostly straightforward although a few tricky clues delayed completion. Last two in were 27a and 1a so I’ll nominate those as favourites today.


  15. Very enjoyable puzzle, lovely to read and solve. 1a took a while despite it being so obvious once the penny dropped….? 27a, 17d and18d my top picks from many super clues.
    Thanks to Jay snd the 2Ks

  16. Only a minor delay with 14d as I bunged in ‘threshold’ from the checking letters. Serves me right for just glancing at the clue and catching the definition at the end without actually trying to work it out. Just goes to show ‘bung-ins’ don’t always work, and it’s helpful to read what’s actually required.
    Thank you Jay and 3Ks.

    1. That is what makes bung ins such fun. That or the satisfaction gained when they prove to be right

  17. Nice well constructed crossword. I have only one point, don’t see how Metallic can be Harsh. Neither is cross-referenced in the BRB. It’s been a week for the use of incorrect words.
    My CLOTD was 17d if only because of the great Eric Morecambe.
    For me **/****
    Thx to all.

    1. Perhaps you should also invest in Chambers Thesaurus. A standard dictionary doesn’t usually list all synonyms.

      2 metallic sounds
      harsh, grating, jarring, unpleasant, rough, dissonant, jangling, tinny

    2. It’s under “a harsh sound” in my electronic BRB Thesaurus but I don’t think I would have necessarily thought of it myself.

  18. The Wednesday Wizardry I’ve come to expect from Jay – splendid stuff but at the easier end of his spectrum methinks. Favs are 17d and 18d with 23d on the podium simply because we have three of them :grin:

    Thanks to Jay and the 3Kiwis.

    BTW, that’s three really excellent puzzles so far this week. I wonder what tomorrow has in store for us?

  19. I fairly romped through this until the last three held me up for an age. 10ac 16ac and 27ac. Lots of smiles along the way. Ta to Jay and ta to those so far away. Especially Ollie.

  20. Lovely stuff, an absolute pleasure to solve. As Pommers said, that’s three great puzzles so far this week. **/**** for me with favourites 16a and 17d. Many thanks to Jay and the 2ks.

  21. 13a – My French teacher (who was English) would have complained about the plural of these biscuits. But Jean-Luc and several dictionaries haven’t complained, so it must just be Moi.

  22. Yet another brilliant puzzle from the Wednesday wizard, exceptionally entertaining with the occasional clue causing no little head scratching.

    My top clues were 11a, 4d and 7d, with several others running them close.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Colin, Carol and Ollie.

  23. Smashing crossword! A real pleasure to solve requiring the grey cells to come out of hibernation. 27a, last in as it was with several solvers was my favourite. 2/4* overall.
    Thanks all round to Jay and the Kiwis.

  24. Another lovely treat. I can’t help thinking we’re soon going to come down to earth with a thud.
    It wasn’t easy for me but hugely enjoyable. I needed electronic help for my last clue, 1a, as my knowledge of physics is nil.
    I liked 17d and 18d in particular, but so much more to like as well.
    Thanks to Jay, the 2Kiwis and Ollie, well done you.

  25. I marvel at the shere originality and imagination of the setters.
    Another great crossword, just about right level for my aging brain.
    15 was a new word for me and 1a a bung-in but it had to be.
    Thanks all. Great I can now post from my tablet again.

  26. Morning all. A rainy day (for a change) is just dawning here. It is a good thing that the painting job is now all but completed. Ollie, being a sixteen year old has not yet surfaced but it is still only 6.30am here. It has been a wonderful inter-generational exchange time for us. Ollie has been a huge help with the painting and in return has been getting driving lessons, an introduction to golf and of course cryptic crossword solving. The other adventure on the programme will be wake-board riding at a new facility that has started near us but we won’t be the teachers there.
    Great to see that everyone seems to have enjoyed the puzzle as much as we did.

  27. Late today so I think it’s all been said already.
    I enjoyed this crossword as much as everyone else seems to have done.
    My two minor hold-ups were 24a, don’t know why, and 29a because I always forget these ‘agents’ – one day I’ll remember them.
    I liked 10 and 27a and 3 and 8d. My favourite was 23d.
    Thanks to Jay and to all three K’s.

  28. Lovely crossword **/**** 😃 That makes three in a row. My last in 18d 😬 Favourites 17d and 7d who knew that a smattering of German language would be so useful in later life 😉 Big thanks to all the Kiwis and of course to Jay

  29. Held up by 3 clues l should have solved at first pass, but 2*/4* seems about right. I liked 11a, 17d and 22a, the latter getting the prize for top clue. Thanks to Jay, and the Kiwi contingent.

  30. An excellent puzzle. This was a steady solve with a few aha moments. Thanks to Jay and the 2/3Ks.

  31. A * for difficulty here, with a little trouble at the close on 27ac. An enjoyable, coffee fuelled mid-week treat. :-)

  32. Another great puzzle, thank you Jay and thank you 2Kiwis for helping me finish. After a few good days, can only think we are due for a stinker of a puzzle, but this one was certainly easier than most Wednesday’s, enabling me to do pretty well. Needed help at 1a, 15a – new word learnt today, and 29a. Like some others I bunged in power for last half of 4d which put me off stroke for a while. COTD was definitely 17a, for the best comedian of our time, bar none. Of course I was off trying to think what was north of Morecambe for a while, dumbo.

  33. Lovely puzzle, I always look forward to Wednesdays because it’s usually a good challenge but help me out here please, is it just me that thinks 13a are cakes as opposed to biscuits?

    1. Traditionally little cakes but now all sorts of small sweetmeats and apparently savouries too

  34. Done this evening after a busy day. Most went straight in. Left with SE corner which took a bit longer. Last one in 29a. 16 22 and 27a and 14 and 17d my favourites.

  35. A very pleasant late solve after quite a hectic day. No real stand out clues, but all in all a nice puzzle to chill out with before heading off up wooden hill. Thanks to Jay I think and to 2Ks for a couple of very much needed hints.

  36. Completed in the early hours of the morning with a 52mph gale keeping whole household and the cat awake. Slates rattling and goodness knows what being hurled around outside. Roll on daylight!
    Enjoyed this a lot, though needed clue for 27a. Always thought 13a were made of marzipan, but obviously not. Live and learn…
    Thanks, as ever, to setter and bloggers.

  37. This one was OK – a bit better than Monday’s but not quite as good as yesterday’s. Some good clues and enjoyable enough. 2.5* / 3.5*.

  38. Hello everyone. This one started easy and then got difficult. ‘Scuse my ignorance, but I thought a biomass used energy rather than being a source of it. I have never heard the word “kepi” before and I think “mysterious” is pushing it a bit for “esoteric”. Best of all I like solutions that you can “prove” from the clue. So satisfactory! Thanks for the help!

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