DT 28776 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 28776

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28776

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Another cool, calm, clear day here with a moderate frost to greet us when we woke up. The high country snow that has been falling in the last few days before the weather cleared, has left the Tararua Ranges to the east of us looking like real mountains once again. On our walk this morning they presented a postcard-like background for the wading birds reflected in the smooth waters of the estuary.

Jay well up to standard again with today’s puzzle.
If you are like us and printed off the puzzle early from the website, there was a problem with the clue for 15d which has now been fixed.

 Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Greece in search of a hard worker (7)
GRAFTER : The IVR code for Greece and a word meaning in search of or looking for.

5a     Soldiers foot the bill for sanctuary (7)
RETREAT : Engineering soldiers and then foot the bill as a favour to somebody else.

9a     Blair regularly taken to task for being free of social constraints (9)
LIBERATED : The second and fourth letters of Blair and then a word meaning taken to task.

10a     Order a business broadcast (5)
ALIGN : ‘A’ from the clue and a homophone (broadcast) of a business or sphere of commercial operation.

11a     Signs one’s worried about source of money (5)
OMENS : The first letter of money is inside an anagram (worried) of ONES.

12a     Behaviour of European base in grim surroundings (9)
DEMEANOUR : The abbreviation for European and then a word for base or inferior are inside a synonym for grim.

13a     Picture one working after South American’s suggestion (9)
SUSPICION : Start with the abbreviation for South then add the one for United States. Next add the short form of picture, the Roman numeral one, and a short word for working or in operation.

16a     Could this throw light on teacher returning during the afternoon? (5)
PRISM : The two letters used to denote the afternoon surround the reversal of the formal address for a male teacher.

17a     Make amends with a tincture (5)
ATONE : ‘A’ from the clue and then tincture or slight shade.

18a     Dish that’s cooked by person wearing suit needing time (9)
CASSOULET : A person, identified by their immortal component is inside a law suit, and finally the abbreviation for time.

20a     Requirement for cook that comes before fire? (6,3)
FRYING PAN : The wordplay refers to a common saying describing things going from bad to worse.

23a     This prisoner would be the devil outside University College (5)
LIFER : When the abbreviation for University College is placed after the first letter of the answer we get an alternative name for the devil.

25a     Basic ingredients may include this in cake (5)
ICING : A semi all-in-one clue where the answer is lurking in the first two words of the clue.

26a     Graduate carried off for obstruction (9)
BARRICADE : Somebody with a Bachelor of Arts degree and an anagram (off) of CARRIED.

27a     Small, small attachment, dear (7)
SWEETIE : An abbreviation for small, then a synonym for small and lastly, an attachment.

28a     Each short sleep is most comfortable (7)
EASIEST : The two letter abbreviation for each, and then remove the last letter from (shorten) a daytime sleep.


1d     Type of humour okay in case of girls (7)
GALLOWS : The first and last letters of girls surround a word to okay or authorise.

2d     A doctor seen on the French promenade (5)
AMBLE : ‘A’ from the clue, a doctor’s degree and then the French definite article.

3d     Point of access — until rest shifted (9)
TURNSTILE : An anagram (shifted) of UNTIL REST.

4d     Assessed time invested in overpriced revolutionary (5)
RATED : Reverse a word for overpriced or expensive and place within it the abbreviation for time.

5d     First principles of game hazy — sent off! (9)
RUDIMENTS : New Zealand’s national game, then a synonym for hazy or dull and an anagram (off) of SENT.

6d     Half-a-crown found by sailor crossing island area? (5)
TIARA : The single letter abbreviation for island is inside a three letter sailor and lastly, the abbreviation for area.

7d     Dodgy oil trade involving international leader (9)
EDITORIAL : Include the abbreviation for international in an anagram (dodgy) of OIL TRADE.

8d     Tense worker perhaps has strange pet (7)
TANTRUM : The grammatical abbreviation for tense, then a worker insect and strange or bizarre.

14d     Second approach will conceal right-wing plot (9)
STORYLINE : The abbreviation for second, a right-wing politician and then an approach a suitor might use.

15d     Some win cap — a bleary-eyed drunk! (9)
INCAPABLE :  A lurker hiding in the clue.  (The original clue on the puzzles website had a letter missing. We don’t know about the newspaper version.) (A later edit — We can confirm that the paper clue is still incorrect.)

16d     Declares in favour of applications (9)
PROCLAIMS : A word meaning in favour of and then applications or assertions of ownership.

17d     A fine carnival’s concerns (7)
AFFAIRS : ‘A’ from the clue, the abbreviation for fine and then a carnival with its ‘S.

19d    Gold buried in river creates rush (7)
TORRENT : Heraldic gold is inside the river that flows through Nottingham.

21d     Man on board loses head in dark (5)
NIGHT : Remove the first letter from a chess piece.

22d     Race over and see heartless carer (5)
NURSE : Invert a synonym for race or hurry and then the first and last letters of see.

24     Set up for a bit of snooker (5)
FRAME : A double definition. The first is to divert responsibility for a criminal act.

We found two possible answers for the Quickie pun, one more quixotic than the other, so we will make that our favourite for today.

Quickie pun     servant    +    tease    =     seventies  or  Cervantes

44 comments on “DT 28776

  1. 2* / 5*. Lovely stuff as ever from Jay. Not difficult but great fun all the way.

    9a raised a smile and gets my vote as favourite.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  2. I think this was a tad trickier that yesterday’s, not greatly difficult with very good clues and certainly enjoyable. 8d: pet = the answer, I’ve never come across that one before so I’ve learned something new. Favs: 23a, 27a, 6d. 2.5* / 3.5*

  3. Cantered through today’s with a cup of coffee whilst sitting in the early morning sun. One question though 15D was an answer in the clue type, is the dash representative of a vowel or should it have been one? I did the paper version.

    1. 15d. I think the setter has cleverly constructed the clue so that not only is the lurker spread across 4 words, it’s also further disguised by being broken up by the dash.

    2. First rule of crossword solving – ignore all punctuation in the clue. And, as discussed below, there was a misprint in the clue.

      1. 15d. I don’t understand the discussion about this clue? The clue in my paper was exactly as in the review above. It looks like a straightforward lurker to me?

  4. Appeared quite easy initially but when deeper into it I realised and appreciated the subtleness. Could not parse 13a ( ta for the hint) and 23a my favourite .
    ***/**** from me .
    Thanks again to everyone .

  5. Excellent fare from Jay although I did spend quite a while hunting for the missing letter in 15d (newspaper).
    I assume that ‘and’ was dropped from the revised version?

    I’ll go with RD’s choice of 9a for favourite – several others were in contention but that one won out for its surface read.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2K’s – I went down the Quixotic route with the Quickie pun!

    1. I wondered if it was meant to be a “semi-indirect” anagram (if I can call it that) combined with a semi “& lit.” In other words, take part of (“some”) win cap bleary-eyed and make an anagram (“drunk”) from those letters.

      On reflection a misprint is a much more likely explanation!

    2. A simple typo – the on-line clue now has the originally ‘missing’ A where it should be. But, I do like RD’s theory.

  6. I always find Jay a tad more difficult than the others. Love his works though.
    I got the quixotic pun, and my wife is adamant it is serving teas, so that is 3 possibilities.
    Thanks to the Kiwis who do a great job and Jay.

  7. Good crossword yet again! 1a was my favourite and 10a held me up the most. Grr.
    Thanks to Jay of course, and to the 2K’s for their review.

  8. Another enjoyable Wednesday work-out from Jay, perhaps not quite as enjoyable as last week completed at a gallop – **/***.

    Candidates for favourite – 23a, 22d, and 24d – and the winner is 24d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  9. Lovely crossword. I was held up by 8d but now can’t see why. I suppose that’s cryptics for you in a nutshell. 27a made me chuckle so must be favourite for the day.

    1. Fair crossword somewhat frustrated by the 15d typo (I couldn’t see the answer could be anything else, but with the typo it didn’t work. RD’s theory is beyond what I would consider reasonable though the thought crossed my mind too), and 8d, again there was only one candidate but I have never heard of pet used as an abbreviated form of petulant. I presume this is what the setter had intended? Is this a regional thing?

      1. Surely it has nothing to do with petulant but rather pet as a synonym for the solution to 8d.

        1. Have only just got around to reading the hints so hadn’t seen the comments at No. 23 below.

  10. Pleased to see that there was a typo in 15d – not just me being bleary-eyed and drunk.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  11. Very enjoyable puzzle as usual on Wednesday. 23a was my favourite today but also liked 9a as others have mentioned.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis.

  12. Not often lately that I get a chance to finish a cryptic before work gets in the way, but today I was up well before dawn so have all three done in good time to comment. I really enjoyed this. Like others, I liked 10A, but also tcked 23A and 6D. Thanks Jay, and thanks to the 2Kiwis for the blog.

  13. The usual great stuff on a Wednesday. **/**** from me.

    Fav has to be 23a but 9a and 23a are up there on the podium.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

    P.S. I too went the Quixotic route. Never even saw the alternative.

  14. First crosswords for a week so I’m glad Jay was on the friendly side today. I’m also pleased that someone explained the typo in 15d – I was perplexed for quite a while.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

  15. Really excellent apart from the missing letter in 15d which knocked half a star off the enjoyment. 9a was also my COTD like others, and overall this was 2.5* /4.5* for me.

    Thanks to all three birds.

  16. Needed the blog to parse 1a, I thought Greece wad just G. 18a, have not seen soul used for a person before. Finally 23a, did not know the abbreviation for University College or the word for devil so I am still none the wiser on this one.
    Anyway ***/**** for me

  17. **/****. Very enjoyable puzzle with lots of subtlety. Favourites were 10a & 15d. Thanks to all.

  18. Nice to be on Jays wavelength today with this excellent puzzle with just about the right level of resistance for another sweltering day. Last in 10a unable to fully parse after “bunging ini” and needed the blogs help for that, so thanks to the 2Ks for the explanation. Thoroughly enjoyable with quite a lot of smiles along the way.

    Clues of the day: 9a / 19d

    Rating: 3* / 4*

    Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay.

  19. Nice crossword to match the weather, warm and friendly. Once I got going it was relatively straightforward but I did need the reviewers help parsing a couple (it’s one thing being able to solve them, quite another being able to parse them all). 20a made me smile, thanks to setters for excellent review and likewise the setter.

  20. Another great puzzle from Jay, 25a and 6d were my personal picks.

    Another one of those grids that doesn’t contain any answers with an even number of letters, Giovanni’s from last Friday was another. After his interesting information about clue length yesterday, I wonder if Mr Kitty can shed any light on how frequent such grids are?

    Many thanks to Mr Mutch and the 2Ks.

  21. Sounds so beautiful in N Z Kiwis. So hot here especially after 18 holes of golf. Great to relax and enjoy iced water and a soothing puzzle when I got home.
    Favourite today was 27a. I always have a pause when confronted by gold in a clue..is it or or au? Leave it to the end is the best plan.
    Thanks to all.

  22. Well I am going to go against the tide and say that, IMHO, this would have been a great puzzle from Jay, but three clues spoilt it for me, 23a, 5a and mostly 8d. I know it says it in Chambers (I checked) but I have never come across pet = tantrum. Something missing from my education obviously. Otherwise, very enjoyable. Thanks to 2Kiwis for the hints.

    1. 8d was a new one for me, pet/tantrum, but I thought 5a and 23a were excellent clues, the latter being especially clever

  23. Hurrah for me!

    Enjoyed doing this one very much…even with the missing a.

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis.

  24. Morning all.
    In case anyone is still wondering, we have it on unequivocal authority that the quixotic option for the Quickie pun was the intended one.
    With 15d it is interesting to note that when we were solving we had quite happily put in the correct answer and it was only when we were writing the hints that we noticed that it did not work. It is amazing how easy it is to read what one expects to see and not what is actually there. However, judging from the comments so far, the error doesn’t seem to have taken too much away from peoples’ enjoyment of the solve.
    Not yet daylight here but it feels like there is a very white frost waiting for us. Might cause a delay in Thursday golf and warm clothes will definitely be needed.

  25. Lots of fun, maybe ** for difficulty. Last two in 18ac and 10ac. Particularly pleased to get the former from the wordplay, kicked myself for not spotting the latter earlier.

  26. Liked.

    (I noticed the omission in 15d but it was so clear what it was meant to be that it wasn’t anything to get hot under the collar about.)

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis. I’m rather jealous of your idyllic location … still, there are a few good things here. I got to give a frog a shower this evening.

  27. Good fun – with the exception of 16d. Not the setter’s fault – but a leap of faith was required to solve it. I did like RD’s alternative though :smile:

    Liked 9a for the supposition that Blair was being thought of as a closet Liberal. :smile: Also enjoyed the humour displayed in 1d.

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

  28. That was great fun with just enough food for thought. 15d perplexed me for sometime but I decided to bung it in. Favs 1a and 20a. Thank you Jay and the 2Kiwis. Strange to think about your frost whilst we swelter in unusually high temperatures with railway lines buckling, etc.

  29. Ray T-esque. Whether you take that as complimentary or the opposite is of course up to you. Let’s hope the typo is an isolated error.

  30. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very well crafted puzzle by Jay as usual. Not too tricky. Just needed the hints to parse 18a. Last in was 10a, my favourite was 16a. Was 2*/3.5* for me.

Comments are closed.