DT 28644 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28644

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28644

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.     

We’ve had an overcast morning here so the temperatures were just right to let us put the finishing touches to our current painting project. ‘Green Thorns’ is the colour we were putting on the doors and window trim and very smart it looks too.
We notice there are still odd spots of paint that missed the clean-up on our arms and hands as we sit down to solve, enjoy and write the blog for today’s Jay puzzle.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Healthy dog’s part in film? (10)
SOUNDTRACK : Healthy or robust and dog used in a verbal sense.

6a     Gets a place to stay (4)
DIGS : Double definition. The first is an informal word for understands.

10a     Report of rifles they produce airs (5)
LUTES : A homophone (report of) for rifles or ransacks.

11a      Power of new infection caught by poorly niece (9)
INFLUENCE : The abbreviation for new and the infection which many of us take early winter shots for, is all inside an anagram (poorly) of NIECE.

12a     Giant male insect seen around in the morning (7)
MAMMOTH : The abbreviation for male and a night-flying insect surround the two letters denoting in the morning.

13a     Share proceeds of divorce (5,2)
SPLIT UP : Double definition.

14a     Noisy disturbances on street after outside broadcast means barriers (12)
OBSTRUCTIONS : Start with two letters identifying an outside broadcast, then the abbreviation for street and then noisy disturbances.

18a     Take care doing internet diary, misplacing line that’s amazing (4-8)
MIND-BOGGLING : A four letter word meaning take care and what we are doing as we write this, but the L(ine) gets moved along a few spaces (misplaced).

21a     Called back then left with journalist, old and twisted (7)
GNARLED : Reverse a word for called or telephoned, then the abbreviation for left and a senior journalist.

23a     Low toll for facility in harbour (7)
MOORING : The noise a cow makes and then toll as you might with a bell.

24a     Council plot that may be productive (9)
ALLOTMENT : A cryptic definition. The plot here is not a dastardly plan.

25a     Shelled crab needs it with a side order (5)
RAITA : The central two letters (shelled) of crab and then IT and A, both from the clue.

26a     Periodic rise and fall of antidepressants? (4)
TIDE : A lurker hiding in the last word of the clue.

27a     Glistening, I smell after travel (10)
IRIDESCENT : Start with ‘I’ from the clue, then travel, possibly on horseback and smell or fragrance.


1d     Only man to lose heart sober (6)
SOLEMN : Man loses heart by not having its central letter, and this follows a word meaning only.

2d     Irregular impetus with no second period of operation (6)
UPTIME : An anagram (irregular) of IMPETUs once the abbreviation for second has been removed.

3d     Rebuilding a bomb site could be confusing (14)
DISCOMBOBULATE : An anagram (rebuilding) of A BOMB SITE COULD.

4d      Loaded, full of energy on venison diet in Germany once (9)
REICHSTAG : Loaded or wealthy contains the physics symbol for energy and then the male animal from which venison is obtained. Be aware that this ‘diet’ does not relate to food.

5d     Strikes as copper’s restraining two females (5)
CUFFS : The repeated abbreviation for female is inside the chemical symbol for copper with its ‘s.

7d     Sign it? I only will admit firing (8)
IGNITION : A lurker hiding in the first three words of the clue.

8d     To soak is hard, and a bit expensive (8)
STEEPISH : A word meaning soak or saturate then ‘is’ from the clue and the abbreviation for hard.

9d     Notice places — slugs seen around at home lodge (8,6)
BULLETIN BOARDS : Slugs or projectiles surround the short ‘at home’ and lodge or be a paying guest.

15d     ‘Numerous‘ as defined by United Nations (9)
UNLIMITED : The two letter United Nations and then a word for defined or restricted.

16d     Grandma having been captured by the enemy uprising, one leaves the country (8)
EMIGRANT : What can be colloquially referred to as ‘the enemy’ is reversed (uprising) and surrounds a shortened version of grandma.

17d     Involved only half of talent, and suffered (8)
ENTAILED : One half of the word talent and then suffered or felt unwell.

19d     Show pleasure, coming across international figure of speech (6)
SIMILE : The abbreviation for international is inside a facial expression of pleasure.

20d     Horrified, seeing a good hotel when budget’s ending (6)
AGHAST : Lots of little bits here. ‘A’ from the clue, the abbreviation for good, the letter represented in radio communication by hotel, then a synonym for when, and the last letter of budget.

22d     Expensive to cross river — and gloomy (5)
DREAR : Expensive or pricey contains the abbreviation for river.

Our top choices today are 1a and 18a.

Quickie pun    foreign    +     sikhs    =    forensics

51 comments on “DT 28644

  1. I liked 18a as well and 4d. Took me a while to see 1a, and the homophone in 10a.

    Today’s toughie is nice and gentle (by Busman, who I don’t think we have seen for a while) so do have a go if you normally avoid the toughies.

    Many thanks Jay and 2Kiwis

    1. I had a go at the Toughie today…and completed it alone and unaided!

      So, trust me, it is very much worth a go if you usually avoid them.

  2. Any crossword with one of my favourite words in (3d) has to be a good one and a blog with a picture of my favourite AA Milne character can’t be bad too.

    Thanks to Jay for the crossword – the pun caused a bit of ‘what does 4/6d have to do with anything’ before the penny dropped and to the 2Ks for the explanations

  3. 2.5* / 4.5*. Great stuff as ever from our Wednesday Wizard. I echo CS’s comments above about 3d and Eeyore.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  4. There was no pain today but for me this was one of the most enjoyable cruciverbal exercises I can recall even if a welcome smattering of GK is missing although that will probably please purist cryptic aficinionados. There are so many good surfaces making it difficult to choose a Fav so special mentions go to 10a, 18a, 23a, 9d and 16d. Thank you so much Jay and the 2Kiwis. Wind, rain and dreariness in West Sussex.

  5. Very enjoyable stuff from Jay. I’m with CS on 3d – a brilliant word to clue. I also agree with Dutch’s comment re: the Toughie. It’s a nice gentle one to get into and there are quite a few smile moments.

    Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and the 2K’s for their review.

  6. Yes, I’m another fan of 3d and drop it into conversations whenever possible. It’s also remarkably easy to spell which is always a bonus!

    Another excellent puzzle from Jay although (unlike Kath, I seem to recall) I dislike the use of ‘ish’ endings – always feel as though that was all the setter could get to fit in to the available space.

    3d shares the honours with 1a for me today.

    Thanks to Jay and to the paint-stained Ks – those jewel beetles are quite remarkable creatures.

  7. How does he do it? Yet another very enjoyable puzzle from Jay completed at a gallop with assistance from some oldies but goodies – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 24a, 1d, 4d, and 9d – and the winner is 4d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

  8. Quite superb. What more can I say – except that it had me chuckling to myself for most of it. Thanks Jay :-D :-D

  9. This crossword was just right for me…..hard enough but not too hard and very enjoyable when the pennies dropped. No quibbles from me today.
    Perfect start to a very blustery day.

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis .

  10. Very early start to the day meant that I had quiet time for all the crosswords. I did enjoy this, with one of my favorite words at 3D my top pick, followed by 18A and 1A. Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  11. Just the thing to lift the spirits in a depression (weather-wise) completed with two young bucks who are fairly new to solving so it went in more quickly. Last was 10a and 9d and 23a were besties. **/*** thanks to J & KK

  12. Enjoyable all the way through with no easy way to pick a favourite – though 27a did produce an amused “ugh!” Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  13. Lovely crossword **/**** 😊 Just right for a very wet and very windy day here in the east 🌧💨 Plenty of good clues I liked 27a & 9d 🤗 Thanks as always to the 2 x Ks and to Jay 👍 Funny things crosswords I solved 3d immediately and then spent a long time over 6a my last one in!! I thought the Quickie was good today, so off to have a look at the toughie 😳

  14. Afternoon Big Dave,

    I’ve been using your blog for the past few weeks after a fellow crucivrerbalist pointed me in your direction.
    I use it as a great aide memoir when the going gets tough.
    Best regards.

  15. Greetings from a wet and wild North Cornwall, excellent puzzle from Jay.
    Some oldies and some goodies.
    Favourites 9d and18a.
    Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay

  16. I echo dutch’s comment about today’s toughie – if you don’t usually do them give it a go. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    I found this backpager a sprint, but the enjoyment rating was much higher than the difficulty and I liked it a lot.

    Thanks to the setter and to 2 kiwis. No chance of outside painting here today. Sideways rain!

  17. Interesting. I was half way down before I filled one in, 13a. Then I put “break” for the first word. After that I completed with a racing finish in * time. Until I missed the lurker in 7d and could not think of the old chestnut 6a. After a cup of coffee they went in straight away. Thanks to all from a very wet grey Gloucester. At least I have no excuse now for sorting out my entries for the next competion at my local camera club.

  18. Great puzzle from Jay. Loved 3D. Thank you also to the 2Ks for the pic of the glitter bug ( and of course the blog). I’m doing a tapestry of the self same insect. Serendipity.

  19. Another day with no sun… luckily we have a Jay puzzle to solve. I found that I worked from the bottom of the grid upwards; indeed my final entry was 1a.
    3d and 18a were both excellent and surely unusual in a cryptic (?), with the former being my favourite.
    2.5/4* overall.
    Thanks to Jay, and to the Green-K’s for their review.

  20. Hello from sunny Barbados. Really enjoyed today’s puzzle after a tricky start to the week. Everything fell into place quite readily. I particularly liked 4d, thought it rather elegant. Thanks to Jay and the reviewer.

  21. Found this much tougher than yesterday’s with some very hidden lurkers. Is it me or is there no lurker indicator in 26a? Whatever it was my last one in.
    7d was hard to find as well. I found the long clues the most difficult needing a bit of electronic help to solve.
    For me ***/**
    Thx to all

  22. Quality crossword from the master, went for a **/****on completion.
    Like Spenseroo, I too liked 4d-and 18a, can’t remember a crossword with 3d in it-though I’m sure one must exist.
    Nice to see the ‘enemy’ back.
    Talking of Eeyore, I have a couple of pictures of the pencll drawings of Mr Shepard-bumping down stairs etc- could they be originals ?

    1. Kitty alerted me to your musing about 3d. You’re correct. I found these:

          Thu 18 Oct 2007   DT 25438   Bombastic duo led off confused (15)
          Wed 21 Dec 2011   DT 26741   Bale out distraught after dance with doctor, upset (14)
          Wed 9 Aug 2017   DT 28501   Bemused, blame doubt developing after dance party (15)
          Thu 30 Jul 2009   Toughie 190   Unsettled dance club, with doubt and blame flying about (15)
          Fri 14 Oct 2011   Toughie 650   In a state after party, Miles, Robert and Alun shortly set about Edward (15)
          Tue 5 Jun 2012   Toughie 783   Cause confusion in performing acid blues to mob (14)
          Fri 7 Feb 2014   Toughie 1133   Confuse dance partner, incorporating curtsy (extremely unusual) (14)
          Wed 18 Mar 2015   Toughie 1362   In a tizz after dance, maiden has to curtsy, getting united with former date (15)
          Wed 27 May 2015   Toughie 1402   Thrown out comb with bald side that’s hopeless (15)
          Sat 24 Feb 2001   Guardian 22141   Confused flower bearing the dead to “The Band From Hell” (15)
          Wed 3 Mar 2004   Guardian 23080   Confuses though most basic, double confused (15)
          Fri 6 Feb 2009   Guardian 24616   Rotten bad time? Could sob – so upset! (15)
          Thu 23 Oct 2014   Guardian 26398   Upsets in party — then see a mob bustle about (15)
          Tue 3 May 2016   Guardian 26874   Confused medic struggling with adult boobs (15)
          Wed 25 Oct 2017   Independent 9683   Upsets fellow dancers, perhaps, embracing your uncle? Extremely unusual (15)
  23. I am also a lover of the 3d word which I use too often I am told. My first one in as it just appeared from the letters. 10a proved the most challenging and also 27a mainly because I didn’t think it was spelt that way! We live and learn. A most enjoyable puzzle.

  24. 18a my favourite although 3d was a cracking anagram. Another top puzzle from Jay who sets the bar very high on a Wednesday. This was 2* /4.5* for me, with belated thanks to the three birds involved in today’s production

  25. Fantastic puzzle, up there with some of the best DT backpagers that Jay has ever produced, in my opinion.

    I loved the clever constructions used in 1a, 12a, 18a, 4d and 16d, but my top three for surface, humour and anagram excellence were 6a, 27a and 3d respectively.

    How does he maintain such a standard? Take a bow, Mr Mutch. Many thanks too to the 2Ks, I hope an abiding interest in cryptics has been kindled in Ollie after helping you last week.

  26. I agree, this was a treasure, not tricky but certainly not easy peasy.
    I’m with CS on this one, love the word at 3d, one of those words that sounds like it’s meaning – Jane knows the word that I can never remember.
    I’m not choosing a fave, too much choice, but 18a was very smile worthy.
    The pic at 27a looks like our dung beetles.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis; the new decor sounds very pretty.

  27. Completed at something like a swift trot rather than a gallop, with 1ac and 6d at the close causing much brow-furrowing. Say ** and a bit for difficulty. 3d must be word of the day, and I suspect the week as well.

  28. Splendid puzzle. 3d brought back memories of Black Adder in Ink and Incapability as BA frustrates Samuel Johnson by the use of words ihe hasn’t listed in the first dictionary and ultimately to despair when Baldrick uses the word “sausage” which is missing from his tome. I like clever lurkers such as 7d and homophones like 10a. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks. **/****.

  29. As a beginner, well 10 years, it is satisfying to complete the puzzle without recourse to the blog but a truly satisfying solve great clues. Thanks to the setter and for the hints I did not need!

  30. Beaten by 10a. Couldn’t see the homophone as both sounds are quite different for me.
    Don’t ask me to pronounce 12a or 21a either. Never could.
    Some nice words indeed. Not only 3d but I also like 27a and 20d.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

  31. Found this tricky and needed a couple of the hints to complete, a bit off the radar today. Think the problem was struggling with the long clues to get a good start. Overall not my best effort today.

    Clue of the day: Liked 16d

    Rating: 3.5* / 2.5*

    Thanks to the 2Ks (needed your hints thanks) and the setter.

  32. Morning all.
    Our last to get sorted was the Quickie pun. Our first thought was, like CS, the old money. Next was that Jay had been following how well our Black Cap cricketers have been going and put in two good scores. Eventually the penny did drop with a clunk.
    Quite a range of favourite clues today, a sure sign that there were plenty to choose from.
    The radio has just told us to expect another scorcher over most of the country again today. Does that make you all envious?

  33. Fun puzzle. If I’m allowed three favourites they are 3d, 4d and 18a. There are some others that come close. Thank you Jay and 2Ks.

  34. At first this seemed like an oh dear day, but half way down the across clues I started to get going. Loved 18a and 3d, excellent words. Very enjoyable puzzle requiring no sports, science or specialized GK. Thank you Jay and 2Kiwis.

  35. Good to get a breather after having to work quite hard on Mon and Tues. Favourite and last in was 10a.

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