DT 28734 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28734

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28734

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Another Wednesday, another Jay puzzle. It doesn’t feel like seven days since we last put a blog together but the calendar doesn’t lie.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Scrapes part of sleeve in case of shingles (6)
SCUFFS : The case of shingles gives us the S’s that start and finish shingles. These are about the part of a sleeve that is sometimes turned up.

5a     Boss of kitchen finishes early, admitting a problem (8)
HEADACHE : Start with a 4,4 title for a senior cook. Put ‘A’ from the clue between these words and then remove the last letter.

9a     Go in feeling jittery about other ranks in military unit (7,6)
FOREIGN LEGION : An anagram (jittery) of GO IN FEELING includes the abbreviation for ordinary soldiers.

10a     Person who goes over fault with unprotected work (8)
DEFECTOR : A fault or imperfection and the central two letters (unprotected) of work.

11a     Rejection of trade across Northern Ireland (6)
DENIAL : Trade or a business agreement includes the abbreviation for Northern Ireland.

12a     Remains with mineral deposit on dry land (6)
ASHORE : The remains left after a fire and a mineral deposit from which metals are obtained.

14a     Fans of referendum among rejected children (8)
DEVOTEES : A referendum or election is inside a reversal of a word for children or the answer to 13d.

16a     Prisoner joined out of order (8)
CONFUSED : A three letter informal word for a prisoner and then joined or combined.

19a     Run in hoseit’s needed by firemen (6)
LADDER : Double definition. The hose in the first definition is not the one that we usually associate with a fireman.

21a     Expected to eat quietly, but jumped (6)
HOPPED : The musical symbol for quietly is inside a word for expected or wished to happen.

23a     Under an obligation, actually accepting telephone company (8)
INDEBTED : The abbreviation for British Telecommunications is inside a word meaning actually or certainly.

25a     Endless rancour, with European smartness (4,3,6)
SPIT AND POLISH : Remove the last letter from a synonym for rancour, then a word meaning ‘with’, and the adjective pertaining to the country which has Warsaw as its capital.

26a     Leave the country for golf in Dubai, say (8)
EMIGRATE : The letter that is signified by golf in the International Radio Communications Alphabet is inside the type of state that Dubai is an example of.

27a     Flyers, for example, and engineers regularly failing in test (6)
EGRETS : The abbreviation for the Latin phrase meaning for example, then army engineers and the first and third letters of ‘test’.


2d     Beginning to collect bids for chests (7)
COFFERS : The first letter of collect and then bids or tenders.

3d     Pressure exerted on behalf of the church (5)
FORCE : A word meaning on behalf of and then the Anglican Church.

4d     Lazy, and lacking a work pattern (9)
SHIFTLESS : The work pattern that is made up of rostered hours and then lacking or without.

5d     ‘Ton‘ that was once part of a county? (7)
HUNDRED : Historically this word was a part of a county named for the number of families who lived in it.

6d     Improve notice when employing workers (5)
AMEND : Male workers are inside a notice or poster.

7d     Disaffected foreigner on date getting confused (9)
ALIENATED : A foreigner, often exemplified by ET, and an anagram (getting confused) of DATE. 

8d     Egg producer’s embargo on eastern plant that’s poisonous (7)
HENBANE : The egg producer is the creature that lays them, then an embargo or prohibition and finally the abbreviation for eastern.

13d     High season will be issue (9)
OFFSPRING : High in the sense of being malodorous and a season of the year.

15d     Loved changes with capital for sports venue (9)
VELODROME : An anagram (changes) of LOVED with the capital of Italy.

17d     Work on outsize problem for an animal (7)
OPOSSUM : String together an artistic work, a garment size bigger than L and an arithmetical problem.

18d     In cold wind leaves get smaller (7)
DWINDLE : A lurker hiding in the clue.

20d     Organs stolen may be visible within this (7)
EYESHOT : The organs of sight and an informal word for stolen or illegally obtained.

22d     Excitement caused by whisky with a chaser? (5)
DRAMA : A portion of whisky followed by ‘A’ from the clue.

24d     Pipe or rail oddly found in pub (5)
BRIAR : The first and third letters of rail are inside a drinking establishment.

When we were solving we put a big tick beside 5a so that is our favourite today.

Quickie pun    fasten    +    eight    =    fascinate

68 comments on “DT 28734

  1. Another fine Jay puzzle for another lovely sunny day – on the friendly side for him too

    Thanks to J and the 2Ks – the hint for 1a needs a tweak as the ‘sleeves’ should be ‘shingles’

    1. Thanks Sue.
      Have now corrected that so will go back to bed again.
      Cheers, Colin.

  2. Not too difficult, but certainly an enjoyable solve. Favourite of a good bunch: 14a. 2* / 3*

  3. 2* / 5*. Reasonably straightforward today but very enjoyable indeed as Jay continues with his rich vein of excellence.

    21a was my last one in. 19a raised a big smile. 25a was my favourite, with 14a in second place.

    Many thanks to all three birds.

  4. After a sleepless night this exercise was accomplished in a timely way thanks to the village shop which delivers my paper soon after 6.00 a.m.
    Last in was 10a which then became runner-up to my 19a Fav. Thank you Jay and the 2Kiwis.

    1. Having your paper delivered is a joyous thing which I haven’t done in about 20 years.

      I need to get my act together.

      1. Not only the paper, but also the milk chez Meringue…..what a joy, especially in the snow.

        1. Now that plastic is a taboo word ‘Milkie’ is making a comeback which is marvellous news.

          Meringues are also splendid but they need to be mean. Do you make a mean one, OM, or is there another story to your alias?

          I hope it’s the former.

          The only reason I talk to my sister-in-law who is a bit of a numpty (great word) is that her meringues are to die for.

              1. A Scotsman goes into a baker’s shop, points in the window and says, “Is that a cake or a meringue?”
                “No, you’re right” says the baker, “it’s a cake.”

                You may need to say it aloud with a Scottish accent.

                  1. Ships that pass in the night.

                    Which reminds me of another joke about Japanese sewage workers. But I wont repeat that one here.

                1. Thank you for bringing back that old chestnut. It’s still funny. I know a good joke about two Irishmen and a flask but I won’t repeat it here. It’s a clean joke but I’m not very good at accents.

          1. Our milkie comes at sparrows fart and I usually bring it in for a breakfast brew before work. The paperboy doesn’t get himself into action til about 8.30 by which time I have been at work for 2 hours. That is why I solve electronically during the week saving the penmanship for the weekend.

            Only scottish meringue joke I know depends on knowing the scottish accent but goes roughly as follows;

            Short-sighted Scotsman to a baker: Is that a doughnut, or a meringue?
            Baker: You’re right—it’s a doughnut.

            1. Just for info, I do make a mean meringue.
              As far as I know no one has died for any of mine yet, but I do get requests.

              Glad the joke has finally been exhaustively explained….

              1. Nice work, one and all.

                Love the ‘Up with the sparrow fart’ expression.


                Or as my mother called it ‘Windy-pop’.

                Good times.

                (completely understandable if you edit this bit out, Big D)

  5. This was a very straightforward solve with one answer with no checking letters after the first pass. Sorting the spelling mistake and idiot answer on the right hand side took the longest time.Thanks to the sleepy Kiwis and also to Jay for a fine puzzle. See you all tomorrow.

  6. No 5a caused by this one, another fine puzzle from Jay.
    20d was the last to fall and my favourite was probably 4d.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for the delightfully illustrated blog.

  7. Another cracking puzzle from Jay that was very straightforward but hugely enjoyable, full of his trademark humour and concise clueing. Many contenders for best clue, but I will go with 5a. Overall 2* /5* for me.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  8. Last Wednesday, ditto – **/***.

    Candidates for favourite – 19a, 5d, and 8d – and the winner is 8d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

    P.S. The Shamus Toughie is not overly tough.

    1. Welcome to the blog Gerard

      Probably a bit of both – most of those who stay with us find an improvement in their solving skills.

  9. Another puzzle I could solve. Hurrah!
    Had to check 20d as it was new to me, but had to be what it was.

    Thanks to the setter and to the two Kiwis.

    Do people still get ladders in their hose?

    Brought back memories of the old song ‘May the bird of Paradise fly up your nose’.

  10. I agree with today’s BD rating, but light on for anagrams from Jay. 12a had me stumped for a while as I had ‘lode’ for the mineral deposit. But got it eventually.
    Thanks J and Kiwis x 2

  11. Nice and entertaining, quite gentle – so over a little too quickly. Good while it lasted. 1.5*/4*. Hard to pick a winner – all good.

  12. 10a was the last one for me too.I must have a word with Mr Patel as our paper does not arrive until approx 8.30am.Also have been unable to train the dog to retrieve it from the gate,although she does alert us to Mr P’s arrival, which is something.

    1. My last dog picked up my paper every morning but Sadie, his replacement, absolutely refuses to do it, she thinks I’m asking her to kill it. My neighbour picks mine up and puts it by my front door.

  13. Wednesday wouldn’t be Wednesday without a crossword from Jay!
    The usual gentle excellence with 5a being the stand out for me.
    Thanks to Jay, and the 2K’s for their review.

  14. Yes , lovely puzzle yet again from one of the maestros . 25a brought today’s smile so my favourite . Rating **/***.
    Hello and thanks to everyone .
    Feeling sorry for Swansea as it looks like the Welsh derby game will be missed for another year .

    1. If you had done today’s Toughie your comment might have read “one of the maestri” but we note that BRB does list both plurals.

    2. My mum is a Saints fan so she was delighted with last night’s results as you can imagine!!

  15. Jay’s puzzles never fail to entertain, and his consistency is second to none, but this one fell short of his normal high standards for me owing to the numerous instances of the same indicators being repeated. “In” featured several times for insertions (although not quite as many as last Thursday!) and “with” and “on” appeared six times between them as juxtapositional indicators.

    My podium threesome comprised 5a, 9a and 26a.

    Many thanks to Mr Mutch and to Colin and Carol.

  16. Enjoyed this Jay puzzle today as I often struggle with this setter. Lots of fun and smiles with some excellent clues. SW corner the sticking point with 21a the last in. Initially thought 25a was going to be an anagram but soon sussed with a couple of checkers in and what a fabulous clue that is. Overall a super puzzle and great to be on Jays radar. Guess tomorrow’s puzzle will be a Ray T, so a good job today’s went ok?

    Clue of the day: 25a with many to pick from.

    Rating 3* / 4.5*

    Thanks to 2K’s and Jay.

    1. It’s a Beam Toughie tomorrow, so I suspect the next RayT backpager will actually be a week tomorrow.

  17. Getting back into the swing of it after a weekend off crosswords to follow the cyclists round Yorkshire. I thought this was going to be more of a struggle than it turned out to be. LOI was 10a mainly because I could think of many words that would fit the checkers. I only managed to think of the answer when I studied the clue closely and I only parsed the unprotected work ending after the event. As a keen cyclist I have to give the laurels to 15d but I liked a lot of other clues too 2d 8d and 5a all deserve a mention too.
    Eyeshot jarred a bit, I wanted to put earshot as it flowed out of my brain easily but was more audible than visible. Eyeshot fitted the clue better but is not a word I use much.
    Thanks to Jay and 2K’s

  18. My bad form continues this week. Although most clues were straight-forward i got 16ac wrong and until i came to the blog 4dn had me stumped! Liked 12ac, 5dn.

    Thanks Jay and 2Kiwis

  19. Agreed, super puzzle again from Jay.
    I’m with John Bee re 20d, not at all sure I’ve heard of eyeshot but it had to be. This gave me the most trouble, I had to use electronic help to check that but none gave me the answer, so they’ve not heard of it either.
    Fave was 4d but 8d came close.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2Kiwis for a nice start to the day.

    1. We also thought it prudent to check 20d in BRB and sure enough it is listed there.
      It does sound like a description of the reputed demise of Alfred the Great.

        1. I certainly did mean King Harold.
          Can’t imagine what had induced me to write Alfred, he was the cake burner wasn’t he? But that story is probably apocryphal.

          1. Yes, it certainly brought KIng Harold to mind! Weird word, I can’t imagine I’ll be using it anytime soon.

  20. Sadly,my neighbour is an American and is off to work before 7am or that could have worked as he is s a delight.
    I often do the dressing gown dash,watched by the dog!

  21. A gentle Jay, put me in better humour after waking up to a flat tyre. The roads round Croydon are more pot-hole than road.
    Fav was 27a.
    Thanks for the hints and to Jay.

  22. Another delightful offering from Jay. I managed 9a from the checking letters,but should have picked up the jittery bit. I hadn’t realised it was an anagram until I read the review. I did see the lurker in 18d and I worked out 8d, but had to do a googlething to check. Thank you Jay and the 2K’s. Only one blue tit egg left to hatch. Mum and dad have a lot of mouths to feed.

    1. They should leave the nest in early June. It is great to watch Mum and Dad calling them out. They will leave one by one, nervously making their first flights. Try not to miss this.

  23. Nice gentle puzzle as usual on a Wednesday 😃 **/*** Favourites25 & 26a 😉 Thanks to Jay and to the 2 x Ks, a lovely selection of photos 📷 👍

  24. Thanls to Sir Linkalot and Miffypops for lightening my darkness re ‘OM’…much appreciated…

  25. Morning all.
    A very extensive list of favourites today which is generally a pretty good indicator of universal enjoyment.
    We still have a little time to wait for sunrise here but the forecaster is indicating another mild autumn day in store for us.

  26. An enjoyable, pretty breezy solve. Last in 21ac, but only because I can’t spell 17d.

  27. Couldn’t get 10A without your help. Easy once you’ve read it with a break between ‘over’ and ‘fault’.

  28. Late on parade, having not got to this until tea time. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis for enjoyable puzzle as usual. 27a are frequent visitors to our garden, very graceful birds.

    1. So are you saying you did this Wednesday crossword on a Sunday and it was a not too taxing brain-stretch… or have you turned up too early to comment on the Sunday Hints post for today’s crossword? :scratch:

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