DT 28752 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28752

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28752

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

During winter we like to make a distinction between bleak cold and crisp cold. Last week we had grey skies and strong winds — bleak cold. This week we have clear skies and calm days with frosty mornings — crisp cold. There is no doubt at all which of these conditions we prefer but we are rather envious of the warmer temperatures that many of you mention in your comments.
Good Jay fun once again. We felt we were working quite hard when we were solving but a check on the clock when we finished showed we were still within our two star time.

  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Irrepressible new nurse underwent instruction (12)
UNRESTRAINED : An anagram (new) of NURSE and then a word meaning underwent or received instruction.

9a     Adopt an offensive attitude seeing conservative high (6,3)
SQUARE OFF : Conservative or non-trendy and high in the sense of rotting or decomposing.

10a     Burn mark on a horse (5)
BLAZE : Double definition. The picture illustrates the second meaning.

11a     Means business providing a service (6)
AGENCY : Another double definition. The business could be one that assists with a transaction in property or travel for example.

12a      Top fashion designer touring Georgia (8)
CARDIGAN : The abbreviation for the state of Georgia is inside the name of the fashion designer noted for his geometric avant-garde styles.

13a     Language somewhat lost on guests (6)
TONGUE : A lurker hiding in the clue.

15a     Moving targets around area for races at sea? (8)
REGATTAS : The abbreviation for area is inside an anagram (moving) of TARGETS.

18a     Took stock of sheep in drive, upset (8)
REVIEWED : A female sheep is inside an anagram (upset) of DRIVE.

19a     Loves a party, with others finishing early (6)
ADORES : ‘A’ from the clue then a two letter party or function and then a word for others, or remainder, loses its last letter.

21a     Attractive sort of curtains used in sorcery (8)
MAGNETIC : Harry Potter-like sorcery surrounds the sort of curtains an inquisitive neighbour might peek through.

23a     A drink after court doesn’t work (4,2)
ACTS UP : ‘A’ from the clue, the abbreviation for court and then a verb meaning to drink.

26a     Appointments put back by district attorney (5)
DATES : The abbreviation for a district attorney and then the reversal of a word for put or place.

27a     Credit virtue (9)
ATTRIBUTE : A double definition. The two meanings are distinguished by where the emphasis is placed by a speaker.

28a     Cool prison venues to be redesigned (12)
UNRESPONSIVE : An anagram (to be redesigned) of PRISON VENUES.


1d     Social climber drinks headless bitter (7)
UPSTART : Drinks as a verb loses its first letter and then bitter or sour.

2d     Wake up, seeing deception about love (5)
ROUSE : A synonym for a deception contains the tennis score love.

3d     Criticism of framework, with university going for independence (9)
STRICTURE : Start with a word for a framework, then the first time the abbreviation for university occurs replace it with the abbreviation for independence.

4d     Flyer‘s fleece (4)
ROOK : Double definition. Fleece here is a verb.

5d     Find out about unusual part of spectrum (8)
INFRARED : An anagram (out) of FIND surrounds unusual or uncommon.

6d     Set me up with graduate teacher! (5)
EMBED : Reverse the word ‘me’ and follow it with the university degree a teacher may have.

7d     The sound of enjoyment subsequently muffles expression of disgust (8)
LAUGHTER : A three letter expression of disgust lies within a synonym for subsequently.

8d     Wrong trap set up for game (6)
TENNIS : A wrong or evil deed and a web-like trap.  Now reverse it all.

14d     Entrance subject to flipping Russian pilot (8)
NAVIGATE : Invert a well-known Russian man’s name and then an entrance to a property or field.

16d     Reckoning to cover carbon dependency (9)
ADDICTION : Reckoning or a simple arithmetical calculation contains the chemical symbol for carbon.

17d     Exquisite lace tied in knots (8)
DELICATE : An anagram (in knots) of LACE TIED.

18d     Prepared to have me for a cure (6)
REMEDY : Start with a synonym for prepared and replace its central ‘A’ with the word ‘me’.

20d    Best perfumes should be developed without France (7)
SUPREME : Remove the  IVR code for France from an anagram (developed) of PER(f)UMES.

22d     Location in Germany turning up during one’s search (5)
ESSEN : A reversed lurker hiding in the clue.

24d     Small car, one from the Middle East (5)
SAUDI : The abbreviation for small and then a brand of German car.

25d     Close store, needing time for hotel
STOP : A store where goods are sold has an abbreviation for hotel replaced by the one for time.

Again difficult to pick a favourite. 1a, 9a and 12a were all contenders.

Quickie pun     earl    +    heed    +    haze    =    early days

50 comments on “DT 28752

  1. I thought this one was a little trickier than the average Wednesday offering, with good clues and a reasonable challenge. I did get into a bit of a daft pickle for a while by initially and recklessly bunging in RABBI for 6d and BRAND for 10a, both of which were obviously wrong. Overall, a very enjoyable solve: 3* / 4*

  2. No need to start with the Downs today – very enjoyable so thank you to Jay and the 2Ks

    As for temperatures, it is very muggy in East Kent so for some reason, for the second day running, our building has the heating on.

    I would also like to recommend the thing of joy that is today’s Petitjean Toughie

  3. Slow start then following a relatively easy run in the South the North eventually fell into line. I too wrongly bunged in brand for 10a which made 8d tricky and I forgot the teacher’s degree in 6d so that was unparsed. No particular Fav. Like the Quickie pun. Thank you Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  4. Thought I was attempting a toughie as I struggled with the NW corner, didn’t help when I had ‘gull’ for 4d,which was a credible alternative solution . All fell into place when 1a fell , steady solve for the rest of the puzzle.
    Going for a ***/****.
    D’oh moment with 18d when I saw ‘me’ was a replacement, I thought the clueing was of a high standard throughout with excellent surface reads.
    Thanks all.

  5. Don’t mind admitting that I got into a bit of a ‘two-and-eight’ with the top half of this one. I wanted my social climber to be drinking ‘aLE’ (headless bitter), part of the spectrum to be a colour of the rainbow and have only heard of the 9a phrase with ‘up’ as the second word.

    Ho hum – took me longer to finish this one than to do the whole of the PJ Toughie!

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for the blog – it’s rare indeed for you to envy us our weather!

    1. I have only heard of square up too. It even parsed with the more usual meaning of high, but wrong number of letters. I even wondered if it was in the wrong tense. Not a favourite.

  6. Definitely on the tricky side with some head scratching and electronic assistance required, which resulted in completion at a canter – ***/***

    Joint favourites – 10a (I also started with brand!) and 12a.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

  7. Don’t like cool as a synonym for 28a. Like Jane I haven’t heard the expression at 9a. But otherwise a good challenge that pushed me into 3* time.

  8. Definitely in the trickier than usual camp today. I was held up in the top half of the puzzle which took longer than usual to sort out.

    Thanks to the 2Kiwis and Jay ***/****

  9. Another assessment of this being trickier than recent Jays; I had a similar experience to the Kiwis in that it seemed tougher than the time elapsed might suggest. Maybe it’s something to do with special relativity and time dilation when having fun. My favourite is 1d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

    (The weather? High humidity and pollution: definitely bleak warm in my book. The kind of weather where you desperately want to open a window to let some air in, but you are already outside.)

  10. In common with others, the North was tougher than the South, with the NW corner the last to yield, and 9a, my favourite, my final entry. The relative trickiness pushed out my solving time but extended the enjoyment, so 3* /4* for me.

    Thanks to Jay for another excellent Wednesday challenge, and to the 2Ks..

  11. Did not find this one difficult and finished quite quickly for me , Favourite 5d. Pleased to report that Russell , our friendly crow , has returned to knocking on the window for his peanuts . Perhaps , he returned to NZ for a short visit but returned to our warmer , but wet , weather .
    Thanks to everyone again for all the hard work involved in compiling , explaining and keeping us happy .

  12. Not on the wavelength at all for this one, so needed lots of hints.

    Have not heard of the expression at 9a with this meaning……getting work finished is how I think of it, but that’s not in my electronic BRB, so wrong again…….

    I was a brander not a blazer, so that didn’t help anything either.

    Not my day.

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis.

    1. I agree. Square up for a fight. Square off to true up material in wood or metal work.

  13. Definitely a 3* difficultly day for me. Quite enjoyable though, 3*.
    Liked 10a and 12a, thanks to Jay and the 2K’s

  14. The north/south divide was fairly dramatic; the south going in pretty quickly but the north was a bit of a sweat! Good challenge tho’ with 12a being my fave.
    Thanks to Jay, and the 2K’s for their review.

  15. Cor blimey. Tougher than 2* for me today. Needed the hints, so thanks clever Kiwis.

  16. I only got one of the across clues on the first read. Thankfully seven of the downs came to my assistance. I did brand a gulll at the beginning but didn’t like either the brand or the gull so I swapped them both. As usual thanks to Jay for an amusing workout and thanks to Colin and Carol for the hints. I love every type of weather but crisp cold is a joy.

  17. Super puzzle today. A game of two halves. Bottom half straightforward, but the top half gave some pause for thought. 2.5*/4*. Cannot really pick out a favourite–all good. Now for the Petitjean treat.

  18. A slow start before the South fell into place and I mistakenly thought the North would follow suit…..it didn’t. I needed three or four hints, rook was a bung in, assumed infrared was two words so struggled there and had brand for 10a wondering why the clue was cryptic.
    I have never, and will never wear a 12a
    Thanks to the reviewer for enlightening me.

        1. Who says?! Witness 7th Earl of Cardigan/Light Brigade, Rex Harrison/My Fair Lady, President Jimmy Carter, etc.

    1. I have a nice long 12a with pockets that me mam knat for me. I don’t wear it often but it is ideal for wearing outdoors in the garden on days like this, and I have even been known to keep a pencil in there for sudden cruciverbal inspiration.

  19. I thought this was quite difficult for a Jay crossword.
    I was yet another one who had ‘brand’ for 10a and didn’t think to doubt it as it worked with 6 and 7d – silly, really, as it wouldn’t have been much of a cryptic clue.
    I’ve never heard the 9a expression.
    Apart from 8d, which I never did get because of the ‘brand’ boob, 12a was my last answer.
    As usual with Wednesday crosswords there were lots of good clues so thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s.

  20. Up to Jay’s very high standard yet again, loverly jubbly.

    Many thanks to Mr Mutch and to C&C

  21. Found this tricky and never quite on the setters wavelength ( often happens with Jay’s puzzles) had real difficulty getting going but eventually one or two fell into place. Struggled all over the grid with 12a last in. A testing but enjoyable puzzle that I never really felt confident with and certainly more than a 2* difficulty for me. Completed but needed the blog to parse a couple. At least I put blaze in first time round.

    Clues of the day: 12a / 14d Both good clues I thought.

    Rating: 3.5* / 3*

    Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay

  22. Could do very little of this. Toughest crossword for ages. Some Toughies are easier than this.
    Thanks all

    1. Thank heavens for the hints. I could have stared at that until doomsday and never got some of the answers in the north.
      Not quite sure how it has the same star rating as Monday or yesterday.
      Roll on tomorrow except it may be Ray-T.

      1. Thanks HYD a Ray T, forgotten about Thursday keep thinking its Tuesday today.That’s cheered me up no end.

  23. I found this more demanding than is usual for a Wednesday. Needed a few hints from the 2Ks (thanks) as I couldn’t quite get on the setters wavelength (thanks also). After many days of sunshine we’re getting more overcast and rain predicted soon which should help with the forest fires.

  24. As others I struggled in the NW and took a hint or two to get going again. Thanks to 2K’s
    That damn bird at 4d has fooled me twice in what seems like not very long. I hope to remember it when it crops up again.
    16d my fave today.
    Thanks to Jay for the test today hardest (inside) back pager of the week so far.
    Off to tackle the petitjean if I can wrest the dead tree off me mam.

  25. I am often stumped by Jay, but this one progressed nicely, and just a few of the 2Kiwis hints needed. No strange words, no sports or obscure GK needed. Lots of great clues, with joint favourites of 12a and 24d. Lovely jubbly in fact. Thank you to Jay and 2Kiwis.

    P.S. Also loved the Rookie puzzle by Metman, right up my street.

  26. Morning all.
    Looks like we should have gone with our first gut feeling and given an extra star for difficulty instead of going by the clock. Always a tricky judgement that in our opinion is much less significant than the enjoyment stars.
    We too started off with BRAND for 10a but were not happy with it as it did not feel clever enough for a Jay clue. Sorting out 8d put us back on track.
    Still dark outside but plenty of stars out so looks like ‘crisp’ is going to be the adjective for today. Good!

  27. It took a few clues before any went in, but from then on it was pretty plain sailing. Last in 11ac which I thought was a tricky little clue.

  28. Oh dear me. Couldn’t read my own handwriting tonight. Whilst others were stuck on 10a, I was stuck on 14d. That’s because my G looked like an E in 21a. On the cardigan front …… I love my cardies. So much easier to put on and take off than a ganzee. Many thanks to Jay and the 2K’s

    1. The iPad seriously shortened my solving times because i can always read what I write. The toughies bring the old handwriting problems to the fore..

  29. Struggled with top third of puzzle but did it. Didn’t see Cardin in 12a nor B.end. in 6d until your explanation – thanx

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