DT 28674 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28674

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28674

Hints and tips by KiwiColin

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Just one Kiwi in the blogging chair this week as Carol is away in the South Island for a few days.  
Jay as consistently reliable as even, always fun to solve.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Careless agent must accept cut (6)
SLOPPY: An agent of the 007 type contains a synonym for cut that you might use in relation to a tree branch.

4a     Junior to follow one expected to lose (8)
UNDERDOG: Junior to or subservient to and follow or trail.

10a     The newspapers joke about name for Shanghai (5-4)
PRESS-GANG: A collective noun for newspapers generally, then the abbreviation for name is inside a joke or a quip.

11a     Penny-pinching drunk (5)
TIGHT: A double definition. Penny-pinching could be miserly.

12a     Escort always holding one back (7)
RETINUE: A poetic way of saying always or ever surrounds one or a single number. All of this is reversed (back).

13a     Ceremonial drink that is a snack (7)
TOASTIE: A ceremonial drink that is often proposed by an MC and then the abbreviation for the Latin phrase meaning that is.

14a     Stumped, after judge’s secret meeting (5)
TRYST: The two letters used in cricket to denote a dismissal by stumping come after judge in a law court.

15a     Men to go topless — possible, and highly desirable (8)
ENVIABLE: Remove the first letter of men and then a word meaning possible or able to be carried out.

18a     Course includes permit for game (8)
ROULETTE: permit or allow is inside a course or path to travel.

20a     Period couch not right (5)
PHASE: A verb meaning couch or express in words has the abbreviation for right removed from within it.

23a     Craftsman frames ‘Two Pennies for Fish‘ (7)
TIDDLER: This craftsman may work with a particular type of roofing and the two pennies are from pre-decimal currency days.

25a     Leading Conservative delivers post (7)
UPRIGHT: A two letter word for leading or on top and then the side of the political spectrum associated with Tories.

26a     Design criteria for viewing aids (5)
SPECS: Double definition. Both meanings are derived by shortening longer words.

27a     A feeling for home schooling? (9)
INTUITION: The two letter ‘at home’ and a word for schooling or teaching.

28a     Explain and begin a journey (3,5)
SET FORTH: Double definition.

29a     Hounds agitated, as horses may be (6)
UNSHOD: An anagram (agitated) of HOUNDS.


1d     Primates set up fixed charge for divorce (8)
SEPARATE: Primates such as orang-utans get reversed, then a word for a fixed charge or fee.

2d     Dismissing head, secretly or in public? (7)
OVERTLY: Remove the first letter from a word meaning secretly.

3d     Parking at last no different after delivery (9)
POSTNATAL: The letter used on signs to denote ‘parking’ and an anagram (different) of AT LAST NO.

5d     Financial problem of film actors’ union? (8,6)
NEGATIVE EQUITY:  The answer is a financial problem where the money owing on an asset is greater than its capital value.  The name of the union that represents actors follows a type of film or photographic image.  (Thanks H and Gazza for correcting my original hint.)

6d     Run over (5)
EXTRA: Double definition. The first meaning relates to cricket and the second means surplus.

7d     Understand a line should be put under it displaying numbers (7)
DIGITAL: A ‘Hippie’ word for understand, IT from the clue, A also from the clue and the abbreviation for line.

8d     Upset, being drawn? (6)
GUTTED: Double definition. Drawn here could be in the sense of preparing poultry destined for the table.

9d     Person whose creative interest is flagging? (8,6)
PAVEMENT ARTIST: The role played by Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins typifies this person.

16d     Slander when individual holds source of info (9)
ASPERSION: A short synonym for ‘when’, then the first letter of info is inside an individual.

17d     Doomed, but isn’t upset during action (8)
DESTINED: An anagram (upset) of ISNT is inside an action or feat.

19d     Scrap not even soldiers will have time for? (7)
ODDMENT: The opposite of even, rank and file soldiers and the abbreviation for time.

21d     Distress pine with no veneer (7)
ANGUISH: A word for pine or yearn loses its first letter (with no veneer).

22d     Inactivity of street without changes (6)
STASIS: The abbreviation for street and a 2,2 phrase that can mean without changes.

24d     Look around a ship for rope (5)
LASSO: A short word for look often associated with ‘behold’ surrounds A from the clue and a steam ship.

The memories evoked by 9d made it today’s favourite for me.

Quickie pun      Dior    +     genies     =     Diogenes

91 comments on “DT 28674

  1. Another delightful offering from Jay this week, full of fun and thoughtful clueing. Like KC, I really enjoyed 9d, which became my favourite, ahead of 5d. This as 2.5* /5* for me, with many thanks to the singular Kiwi and Jay.

  2. 3* / 4.5*. Another very high standard Wednesday offering. I am however not totally convinced by 5d in spite of the “?” as it appears that “problem” is doing double duty. Is it just me but wouldn’t “Financial problem of uncooperative film actors’ union” have been better?

    My initial thought for 9d was “standard bearer” but I was disabused of that notion as soon as I got 10a. 9d ended up being my last one in and favourite when the penny finally dropped.

    Many thanks to Jay and half of the 2Ks.

    1. The way I read 5d is that ‘Financial problem’ is the definition, ‘film’ describes the first word of the answer and ‘actor’s union’ the second word. Hope this helps.

    2. I think that the definition of 5d is just ‘financial problem’ with the first word of the answer being a type of film or photographic image.

  3. I started well but the trouble I had with a few stragglers on the RH side took me over 3* time. Lots to enjoy.

    Thanks to Jay and the one K

    Beautiful here in East Kent today – as long as you are indoors looking out at the sun shining on the snow – its been many years since we had this much snow fall, I’d forgotten that lovely crunching sound when you walk on deep crisp snow. Now back to being half ‘working from home’ and half crossword testing. Its all go here!

    1. You may be happy to know that I am busy properly attaching the kicker boards to our new kitchen Sue. So they will not fall over any more. Once that is done the whole job is finished, done with, over, complete.

      1. Mine are fixed with magnets which works well although they have been known to ‘fall over’ if bumped! 🙂

      2. Glad to hear that we are not the only ones who take a long time over renovations (one of our kicker boards got fixed a year ago). But having a lovely kitchen that works just how you want is worth the wait.

  4. I didn’t’ have any problems with this – perhaps because I completed it in 2 sessions. Good fun. The snow has not reached us yet but the sun is smiling. Thank you Jay and K.

  5. Tricky for me, but very enjoyable. Thank you KC for explaining 6d and 12a, neither of which I could parse. In spite of being a cricket fan, I didn’t see the relevance in 6d. Doh!

    Thank you very much to the setter.

  6. I had no problems with this, which after yesterday restored a bit of faith.
    I struggled to parse a couple so many thanks.
    Super set of clues from Jay as usual.
    Thanks all.

    1. Interestingly, I didn’t have any problems at all with yesterday’s crossword. probably that ‘wavelength’ thing again.

      1. I did not recognise the ‘style’ of yesterday’s setter which made me think that we had not seen the setter many times before.
        An experienced person like yourself would fare much better in those circumstances than someone relatively inexperienced like me.
        Well, that’s my excuse anyway for yesterday’s feeble showing!!

  7. Normal service is resumed. Thank goodness. **/*** from me.

    Many thanks to Jay and the K.

    (Anyone trying the Quickie today, had better be fluent in British English as opposed to any other version!!)

  8. This ticks all of the boxes for me. thanks to Jay or the puzzle and thanks to Kiwi Colin for the explanations. Especially 12 across where my backwards reading lack of skill failed to pick out the synonym for one.

  9. Unlike CS, it was a couple of stragglers in the SW corner that held me up – silly in retrospect but isn’t that invariably the way.

    Managed both the crickety terms quite easily – I guess I look out for them more these days!

    Joint first prize going to the two long ones – 5&9d.

    Thanks to Jay and to ColinK for the blog – think I quite fancy a 13a for lunch after seeing your pic!

  10. Very enjoyable but 19d was problematical as I had the wrong pennies in 23a. This gave me a different type of fish (a drinker?) but eventually the pennies dropped and all was well 😩😂

  11. As the young would say these days, that really was ‘ace’. SE corner was last to be fathomed. Fav was 9d with 22d running up. Appreciated discussion above re 5d as that kind of film had not occurred to me thus hampering the parsing. The Quickie was just as enjoyable with several almost cryptic clues. I did however fail to solve the pun but having revealed KC’s solution I forgive myself. Many thanks indeed Jay and KiwiColin.

  12. Great puzzle. Mostly straightforward but SE held me up a little. 2.5*/4*. 20a was last in and gets my vote for top spot. Nice one, Jay.

  13. Agree with Jane that the prize clues were the two long ones.
    Thanks to H for the parsing of 5d which I, like RD, overlooked.
    We seem to be on a good run with our crosswords of late and this is no exception , top notch and a **/***** for me.
    Thanks Kiwi Colin for the amusing blog pics-and setter.

  14. Like Jane my hold-ups were mainly in the SW (20a was the other), and like Jane I think I may have used a word like “silly!” when I twigged at least one of them.

    My favourites are 15a and 9d, but all very enjoyable as usual from Jay. Thanks to him and to KiwiColin for shouldering the blogging duties and maintaining the usual high standard.

  15. Spent a bit of time on 20a until I decided to look in the thesaurus for synonyms of couch. New meaning for me.
    Tried to bung in Get Going in 28a at first.
    Thanks to Jay and to Colin for the review.

  16. Tricky for me today , but I prevailed with my last 2 in being 4a and 8d.

    Loved 9d.

    Thanks to the setter and to the solo Kiwi for the hints.

  17. We are snowed in today, so no newspaper delivery, so no crossword. I find it irritating that I subscribe to the Telegraph but cannot access the online version.

      1. Sadly not, Ray. Paper subscribers can access all the content on-line except for the puzzles :negative:

        1. But, I’m a subscriber (not to the puzzles site) and I can get the puzzles at the end of the online paper. Unless there are different classes of subscriber I don’t know about.

          1. I had to get the separate puzzle subscription, in addition to the on line newspaper subscription, to be able to print the crosswords. And I believe that is the only way to see the Toughie as well. Not that my skills are often up to that level…

    1. To access the online paper complete with puzzles (Cryptic, Quickie, Sodoffku, Codeword) you need to download the Daily Telegraph app. It will ask for you daily telegraph subscription number and maybe your email address. Once in you should have all of the paper including the puzzles. If you have already downloaded the app, I suggest you remove it and try again.

      1. My goodness, MP. That’s a revelation. I got sick of complaining to the DT that paper subscribers should have the online puzzles included as part of the subscription. Having got no response I hadn’t checked for a quite a while, but, prompted my your comment, I have just opened the DT app on my phone and Eureka I can now see the crosswords.

        Can I buy you a beer at BD’s 2019 BB?

        1. I was stilll unable to access the crossword, but after speaking to the Telegraph they have switched on access until Saturday because of the snow.

      2. That is good news. I will try again. Like Rabbit Dave I did try some time ago without success. Thank you to all who have responded to my post.

  18. From today’s Times. (with thanks to the chap who posted it on fifteensquared) I know I shouldn’t be anywhere near fifteensquared but Paul’s puzzle in The Grauniad today was superb

    “Crossword compilers will be redundant within 15 years, by which time robots will have taken over, says one of the country’s experts. Marc Brennan, who has written more than 13,000 clues a year for national newspapers for more than 25 years, said: ‘It is one of the last remaining true niche industries, and one that cannot compete against the march of the machines'”.

    Will their be a Rookie Corner for computers?

    1. In every other field I would not say this but AI – Atrificial Intelligence and even more spookily, Artificial Intuition – will not ever replace the human mind when it comes to the best cryptic crosswords.

    2. I think you may have got your sites in a twist, MP. It was mentioned here on the Graun site, not on 225. Like Beery Hiker I’m with the naysayers. I liked gallerymouse’s “Once robots start setting them I think I’ll leave them for other robots to solve.” Even as things are, I’m far less likely to bother with a crossword from an anonymous setter.

      1. You are right Kitty. I don’t know why I thought it was 15sq. It is a corker of a puzzle though

  19. A very pleasant and not too challenging puzzle completed at a fast gallop – **/****.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 5d and 9d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 1 K.

    P.S. The Firefly Toughie is quite doable.

  20. The left hand side went in fairly smoothly but the other side needed some activity from my little grey cells. A very enjoyable solve all told and for me 22d was top clue. 2.5/4* overall.
    Thanks to Jay and the K for services rendered.

  21. Probably just me being a bit thick today but I found this a bit trickier than normal for a Jay. The usual enjoyable wizardry though so I’ll go for ***/***** with 6d as clear favourite with 5d and 9d getting a mention in dispatches, but the whole puzzle is simply brill.

    Ta Mutchly to Jay and the 1Kiwi.

  22. Thought today’s offering was on the easy side or maybe it’s because it’s my birthday and I’m firing on all cylinders!
    Favourite today was 8d.

  23. Oh how annoying is this…. I wrote my piece – a bit longer than usual – hit ‘post’ and Pffft! Off it went… to the Dear Almighty knows where. Here’s a re-write:
    It seems to this solver that Jay has upped his game a bit recently producing puzzles where the ‘fun-factor’ is rivalling that of our much venerated Virgillius. I rated this one at 2.5/4.5 with today’s firecracker being 9d.
    The only gribble was 8d and that only because I have a silly aversion to that word for reasons I can’t explain. It has a whiff of my personal number-one pet hate which is ‘gobsmacked’. If that word ever appears my subscription will be jeopardy. (Mr K is about to tell that it has and when, I am sure)
    Thanks to Jay and KC.

    1. From the Oxford English Dictionary

      gutted, adj.2

      Draft additions 1993

      Thesaurus »
      Categories »

      2. In predicative use: bitterly disappointed; devastated, shattered; utterly fed up. slang.

      1984 J. Green Dict. Contemp. Slang 126/1 Gutted a., (UK prison use) sick and tired, sick to the back teeth.
      1987 Independent 21 Apr. 2/7 We are a..strong family, but we are gutted by Shani’s death.
      1988 Arena Autumn–Winter 163/3 Think of the sportsman’s comment on defeat, ‘I feel gutted, Brian, well gutted.’
      1990 Sunday Mirror 4 Feb. 42 Seb must be gutted. Pulling out of the 1500m..must have been an agonising decision.
      1991 Sun 6 Feb. 22/6 I’ve heard nothing for four months. I’m gutted because I still love him.

    2. The bad news is that your pet hate has in fact appeared on the back page. The good news is that it’s only happened once:

      Knocked sideways, as mouth punched? (10)   (DT 28592 on November 23, 2017)

      1. Well, I’m gobsmacked and gutted. There! But it’s like being force-fed chillied candy-floss.

  24. Enjoyable, although I had to use quite a few hints. I can’t see the connection between 9d and 24d. Defeated by 28a.

  25. A super, well clued puzzel from Jay (I assume?) No real stand out, but all of them a pleasure to solve. Thanks to setter and hint provider.

  26. That’s more like it no 21d today! **/*** 😃 Favourites 10a & 27a Thanks to Kiwi Colin and to Jay 👍 Quite liked the phrase in today’s Quickie 😏

  27. Nice treat today even though not many anagrams. Seemed a typical Jay puzzle to me and very enjoyable. Lots of good clues and plenty of smiles. Pleased to say I was on the wavelength today. Last in 20a.

    Clues of the day: 23a / 9d

    Rating 2.5* / 4*

    Thanks to KC and Jay

  28. Excellent stuff as always from Jay, my only minor disappointment was noticing the same containment verb used twice. Top three clues today were 20a (my LOI), 9d and 19d.

    Many thanks to Mr Mutch and KiwiColin.

  29. So enjoyable, lots of lovely clues which made me smile. Loved 9d . Good steady solve with a couple of head scratchers for me.
    Thanks to Jay and KiwiColin

  30. I’m another that fell for ‘tippler’ ((drinks like a) fish?) for a while at 23a. Top notch puzzle again from Jay, though I thought 8d a bit grizzly. I can’t choose a favourite, they’re all good.

    Many thanks to Jay for keeping the standard of his puzzles so remarkably high and cheers to KC for reminding me of Shanghai. ** and a bit / ****

  31. Good fun. Like several commenters above, it took me a few attempts to home in on the correct fish. I liked 8d, but my favourite is probably 5d. Thanks to Jay and to Colin.

  32. 2.5/4. This was a very enjoyable puzzle with a little bit of tuning required to get on the right wavelength. Liked 5, 7&22d with 5 taking gold. Thanks to Jay and 1K.

  33. I think everything has been said already so I’ll just add that I had trouble with 28a and 9d.
    My favourite was 5d.
    Thanks to Jay for the usual very good Wednesday crossword and to KiwiColin for the usual very good Wednesday review.

  34. Another treat from Jay, pure enjoyment.
    As with most, my memorable clues are 5d and 9d.
    Thanks to Jay and to KiwiColin for a very pleasant morning.

  35. Morning all.
    A clever observer might notice that I did get up at 2.30am to correct the hint for 5d where I had missed some of the wordplay, but I did not stay out of bed long enough to comment at that stage.
    Letterbox Roy has commented that the 8d hint is a bit grizzly which makes me pleased that on my final proof-read I altered the hint to remove the reference to Guy Fawkes. Now that was grizzly.
    From all the snow comments it is obvious that we are not alone in having more extreme weather events than we are used to. At least the snow can have the compensation of being rather beautiful as well as inconvenient.

  36. Another very tough one, just not on the right wavelength. Managed just 9 answers.
    For me ****/*
    I think I should take a rest from the DT crosswords, they are becoming just too difficult.

    1. Don’t worry Brian, I found yesterday’s offering impossible. Maybe you could take time off to re-charge your batteries, but I find that if I’m not enjoying solving, then I get very cross with myself and the solving gets worse. Try and enjoy the process of solving, and I’m sure you’ll get back on track.

  37. Phew, big thanks to Jay for a delightful crossword with clues that mostly just needed a bit of thought and work to get the answer. A relief after 3 days when I did very poorly. Thanks also to 2Kiwis for the ones I stumbled at. I also was tempted to bung in standard bearer at 9d. Wanted to put gather in 8d but couldn’t make it fit with upset. 27a was my COTD. Not sure about under really = junior though. But definitely enjoyable today. Sorry about all the snow and cold. It’s a chilly 82F here 😊

    1. I had the same thought about junior, but if you read the clue as ‘junior to’ it does work for me.

    2. Oooh! You are unkind! I was quietly basking in our good fortune after reading about the beast from the east.

      1. But I would absolutely love to be there for the snow. I still miss the seasons here, and of course a real English garden.

  38. On the tricky side I thought – *** for difficulty here. Last two in were 18ac and then 20ac, both of which required a little run through the alphabet before light dawned.

  39. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very nice puzzle from Jay. I liked the misdirection in 20a, the pun in 5d, the humour in 7d, but my favourite was 22d. Last in was 12a. Was 3*/4* for me.

  40. I put snippy into 1a then tried to justify it. It wasn’t there for long once I’d sorted out 2d. Favourites were 5d and 9d. Thank you Jay and 1k.

  41. Thank you jay and the two kiwis would not have finished today (oops sorry) tomorrow but my chemo gives me insomnia so that’s a plus !

  42. Bit too late to comment. Fully intended to it after I did this yesterday evening after coming home from London and going out in the snow! Brain freeze. Overall a splendid puzzle. Liked the two long ones although not so easy as 2+ word long ones usually are. Could not parse 12a but put it in as had to be right. Many other good clues including 10 20 25 and 27a and 2 8 16 19 and 21d. The latter was one of my last in. Two problems for me – I did not know the word at 22d. Confess I did not look in BRB but could not find it as a synonym on line. 1d easy to get but a very disappointing clue for me. The answer is most certainly not a synonym for divorce.

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