DT 28794 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28794

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28794

Hints and tips by Kitty

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BD Rating  –  Difficulty ** –  Enjoyment ****


Hello everybody.  I hope you are well.  The Kiwis are away this week, so I’ve been let out to play.  Today’s back page entertainment comes courtesy of the third bird of Wednesdays, Jay, who has provided us with another lovely puzzle.

Definitions are underlined in the clues below and indicators are italicised when quoted in the hints.  You’ll find the answers inside the buttons.  The exclamation mark is not an imperative — click only if you wish to reveal all.

As usual you may click on pictures to enlarge them or uncover hidden extras.



1a    Interrupt study on source of bacteria and eat (5,5)
BREAK BREAD:  Start with a word for interrupt or pause.  Then add a verb to study, after (on) the first letter of (source of) bacteria

6a    Result of injury that’s almost frightening (4)
SCAR:  A remainder of an old injury is formed of most of (that’s almost) a word meaning frightening

9a    Singer backed by company offering headgear (7)
CORONET:  The reversal (… backed) of a male singer between a baritone and an alto follows the abbreviation for company

10a   Places haunted by engineer types? (7)
RESORTS:  Nothing spooky about these haunts.  A member of the Royal Engineers and some types or kinds

12a   Part of kitchen sapping poet full of love (8,5)
DRAINING BOARD:  Sapping or exhausting plus a poet (like Shakespeare perhaps) containing (full of) the letter which we use to denote love or zero

14a   The heartless member has spoken of such lords (8)
TEMPORAL:  Put together the first word of the clue without its innards (heartless), the abbreviation for a parliamentary member, and spoken or verbal.  Such lords are secular members of the House of Lords, but naturally my first thought was:

15a   Hot line in forged notes (6)
STOLEN:  The abbreviation for line in an anagram (forged) of NOTES

17a   Wages must cover most of crowd in Rome office (6)
PAPACY:  Wages go around (must cover) a crowd or gang without its last letter (most of …)

19a   Disadvantage of drink with team? (8)
DOWNSIDE:  A charade of to drink rapidly (4) and a team

21a   How to start a childhood romance? (4,4,1,4)
ONCE UPON A TIME:  How fairy tales traditionally begin

24a   Those worried about left and right keep arm in this (7)
HOLSTER:  An anagram (… worried) of THOSE surrounding (about) abbreviations for left and right

25a   Tedious working alfresco (7)
OUTSIDE:  An anagram (… working) of TEDIOUS

26a   Free, free at last to travel (4)
RIDE:  After a word meaning free (of) goes the last letter of (… at last) free

27a   Evaluation of agreement covering awful mess (10)
ASSESSMENT:  Agreement or approval containing (covering) an anagram (awful) of MESS



1d    Responsibility for cash in America (4)
BUCK:  Two informal definitions: the kind of responsibility one might pass, or a word for a dollar

2d    Act married after misrepresentation of real rank (7)
EARLDOM:  After an anagram (misrepresentation) of REAL is a two-letter verb meaning act and the abbreviation for married

3d    Bounder to seek trial here? (8,5)
KANGAROO COURT:  A cryptic definition, punning on a bounder being a bouncy animal as well as a rogue

4d    Decay rampant and in American buildings (8)
ROTUNDAS:  Decay, then an anagram (rampant) of AND inside an abbreviation for the States

5d    Garment from India prone to be revealing (5)
APRON:  This one is what we call a “lurker” on this site, taking letters from two words of the clue to be revealing the answer

7d    Cut short story aired in support of dog (7)
CURTAIL:  A homophone (… aired) of a story or yarn goes after (in support of, in a down clue) a dog

8d    Dire scenes played out in such homes (10)
RESIDENCES:  An anagram (… played out) of DIRE SCENES

11d   Confirms advance on stint at sea fighting (13)
SUBSTANTIATES:  Payment in advance followed by (on, in a down clue) an anagram (… fighting) of STINT AT SEA

13d   What man’s partner may be? Protest he must be upset about origin of money (10)
STEPMOTHER:  PROTEST HE is to be anagrammed (must be upset) and wrapped around (about) the first letter of (origin of) money

16d   Excited, as to come out (8)
COMATOSE:  An anagram (excited) of AS TO COME.  Sneaky little definition here, especially as “out” could have been the anagram indicator

18d   Cream were first to get drunk (7)
PICKLED:  Put together the cream of the crop (4) and a word meaning was or were in front

20d   Taking some despite miserable list (7)
ITEMISE:  Another lurker: taking some of the clue gives us our answer (a verb)

22d   Monsters turn up with Dr Seuss regularly (5)
OGRES:  The reversal (… up, in a down clue) of a turn (in a game, perhaps) followed by alternate letters (… regularly) of Dr Seuss

23d   Worst gamble accommodating son (4)
BEST:  A wager surrounding (accommodating) the abbreviation for son.  To worst in the sense of defeat — which is also a word with the opposite meaning to worst.  Is there a name for synonyms which are also opposites?  These are a bit like Janus words … but not quite.  My quick internet search has failed to find a name for them.  Are there any other examples?  I can only, off the top of my head, think of good and bad/wicked.  Over to you!


Thanks to Jay.  I liked 9a, 15a and, being a free spirit trapped in a scaredy-cat’s body, 26a.  Which did you think 23d?


The Quick Crossword pun: GHETTO + FERRET = GET OVER IT

These hints and tips are for anyone who might find them of use (and who doesn’t need help now and then?).  The asides and illustrations are to add a personal perspective and some colour.  The comments section is — or should be — for everyone.  Please do ask if you need anything clarified, have any suggestions as to how the blogs could be improved, or have anything else you’d like to say.


60 comments on “DT 28794

  1. A most enjoyable Wednesday puzzle, Jay at his very best, completed at a gallop – **/*****.

    Candidates for favourite – 14a, 21a, 26a, and 20d – and I think the winner has to be 14a – a three-part charade in eight words – perfect.

    I think Jay has to be my second favourite setter, he will have to work hard to displace Virgilius from the number one spot; thanks to him and Kitty.

  2. I wonder if the Quickie pun was in answer to yesterday’s shenanigans?

    Back to normality today, with a perfectly palatable *** offering.

    Not too sure of the word “revealing” in 5d. It could be the Lurker indicator, but surely that is “from”. I suppose the answer would be revealing, it it was worn on it’s own. (Monty Python?)

    Many thanks to Jay and Kitty

    1. MR. 5d: Yes, I initially thought that this one somehow contained two different lurker indicators, but I think Kitty has explained the parsing pretty well above.

  3. Got through this one alone and unaided and enjoyed it very much.

    Needed help with parsing 17a (couldn’t think of a word for crowd )and 4d (missed the anagram indicator, but did see the anagram).

    That picture for 1a is pretty scarey. Wouldn’t like to come across that on my kitchen table or anywhere else. Loved the rest of the pics, though..especially the cat lift..

    Thanks to the setter and to Kitty.

  4. An enjoyable, straightforward puzzle, I was briefly stuck on 1a/3d while I presumed the 1st word of 1a ended with a D.

  5. Jay is as enjoyable as ever though I was surprised by the number of anagrams (ten by my reckoning, including four in a row in the down clues). Thanks to Jay and Kitty.
    Favourite clue: 21a.

  6. 23a. I think worst and best are both (singularly) contranyms or Janus words. Radiator is another example.

    1. But I don’t know the name of, nor can I think of another example of the construct you desire. You’ve certainly set a poser there!

  7. Well that was fun after yesterday’s hard graft! It never fails to amaze me how often I completely miss the lurkers, I spent an age trying to fit a sari in to 5d.
    Many thanks to Kitty and the setter. Also must thank you for the quickie pun, I absolutely couldn’t get it!

  8. This went in without too much trouble but it contained really good clues, providing a very enjoyable solve. 16d: I, too, was initially thrown by the sneaky little definition. A cracking puzzle! 2.5* / 4*

  9. After yesterday’s horror an enjoyable solve. 21a made me smile.
    Thanks to Jay and Kitty.

  10. Not one of my favourites but uncomplicated. NW caused a slight hiccup but got there in the end. Held off filling in 4d as thought the clue was a bit unspecific and bunged in 22d as missed the significance of turn. No Fav. Thank you Jay and Kitty particularly for sorting the Quickie pun for me – can’t tell you how many times I had said the two words out loud!

  11. 2.5* / 5*. This was wonderful from start to finish. The NW corner took my time over 2* with 4d my last one in.

    16d was my favourite, hotly pursued by 14a.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Kitty.

  12. What a difference a day makes a stinker yesterday (well for me anyway) to a great puzzle from Jay. 21a and 3d gave me a great start.
    Thanks to Kitty and Jay

  13. Couldn’t find the puzzle today in my crossword app on my iPad. Turns out the app is not allowed to publish Telegraph puzzles anymore. I’ve subscribed to the Telegraph puzzles for years but now it seems I am unable to play them on my iPad. Why are the Telegraph still using Adobe flash player when everyone else in the world are not? Good mind to defect to another puzzle.
    Played this one on my PC, not very convenient for sitting in the garden with!

    2.5*/ 3* 14a was my favourite Thanks to Kitty and Jay.

    1. Hi Jaycat, I use the Puffin browser on my Android tablet as it’s the only browser I have found that supports Adobe Flash (it’s inbuilt), I assume it will work as well on an IPAD.
      I believe the DT website is being revamped, and when you see the quality of the other daily’s websites, you can see why.
      Perhaps CL might pop in and give us an ETA.

      1. Thanks HoofltYouDonkey, I have tried Puffin and it seems to work. Hopefully there may be a long term solution for using the default browsers and apps in the future.

      2. I have downloaded the Puffin app and can now access the puzzles but I can’t fill them in onscreen as there is no keypad!
        EXTREMELY annoyed with The Telegraph! 🤬

        1. Welcome to the blog Amanda

          I don’t think you can blame the Telegraph for a problem with one of the more obscure browsers

    2. If you download an app called puffin, you can use anything that needs flash player on your ipad

  14. Poor Jay – flies out to enjoy his usual Wednesday morning seed break with his Antipodean friends only to find himself confronted by a Kitty cat and a few of her pals! Fortunately they seem to have settled for a truce.

    Took me a while to trap the 14a lords but no other problems along the way.
    Top marks went to 15&21a with a nod to 1a for originality.

    Thanks to Jay and to the benign feline. Couldn’t think of anyone who would actually purchase a cat lift and then spend hours training their pet to use it – but then I thought of you…………..

    1. Your comment made me laugh, Jane. I’m as harmless as they come, even if I do like to talk the talk sometimes. (Like when I refer to the container of seed in the garden as the cat feeder by proxy.)

  15. Like most comments, lovely after yesterday’s horror. Jay in great, and reasonably benevolent form.
    Lots of great clues, and thanks to Kitty for the hints, though I still don’t understand what ‘haunted’ is doing in 10a.
    We have just rescued a couple of cats, so enjoying getting to know them.
    COTD was 3d…very amusing!
    Thanks to Jay too.

    1. I think I can see the “haunted” in 10a. These places are the types of destinations that the engineers like, their usual haunts.

    2. That made me smile, Hoofit. Same old story – you think you’ve signed up for one deal and then, before you know it, you get add-ons in the form of more mouths to feed, vet’s bills to pay, soft furnishings to replace, catteries to organise if you want to go on holiday etc. etc. Enjoy!

      Only joking really – they can also bring you a great deal of pleasure. Plus – you get to be one of Kitty’s new best friends!

      1. They are doing well Jane. They are good company for Mrs.Hoofit while I am at work, though they are a pair of gannets!!

    3. So glad you’ve adopted a pair of cats, Hoofit! I have SIX, yup VI, and they’re all different, different personalities, different tastes, want to eat in different places, some prefer inside, others outside. They keep me busy.

      1. Wow!! Six!! We are hoping that step-daughter’s Springer Spaniel soon gets used to them, he is only a puppy

  16. Late start for me today as a few chores to do before club tournament on the bowls green ( more brown than green at the moment) .

    Finished quite quickly for me with 21A today’s smiler .

    Will read blog and hints now but noticed the cats already .

    Thanks to everyone.

  17. Fair and square.
    No need for outside assistance to solve this lovely offering.
    Thanks to Jay and to Kitty.
    Such a computer wizard. Love the click here on the pics.

  18. Lovely! 🙂
    A gentle walk through the park after yesterday’s 100 mile run
    Thanks to both
    Favourite 9a

  19. Thank you Jay & Kitty for a lovely puzzle 23d really threw me but sorry I still don’t get the partner bit in 13d !

    1. I just thought it means that a man’s partner or wife could be stepmother to any children he had from a previous relationship

  20. I have circled six and could easily circle six more. Therefore I will just select one – 21a – although I expect it has been done before. As others have said an easy ride after yesterday but I would not wish to detract from either. Personally the only one I did not like was 23d. I had to decide whether to spend a disproportionate length of time looking for other three letter synonyms for gamble so I bunged. I am grateful to Mr K for the parsing. Thanks Jay once again.

  21. A very pleasant solve that started well but came to a halt in SW corner, eventually got 13d but more of a bung in and needed Kitty’s hints to understand it. Last one in 17a and managed to work the word play out after a struggle with that one. Pleased to have finished a Jay puzzle again and seem to be more on his radar, although several clues today I found real tricky for example 10a and 8d. Nonetheless after yesterday’s puzzle a joy to solve.

    Clues of the day: 9a / 21a

    Rating: 3* / 4*

    Thanks to Kitty and Jay

  22. Like Gazza, I was surprised to see quite so many anagrams, but even more surprised to see a fourteen-word clue, rarely if ever is Jay quite so verbose.

    Difficult to choose a favourite clue today, but 16d just edges it.

    The dramatic aerial photo in today’s paper of Hyde Park after seven weeks of drought shows just how unnecessary a lawn-mower has been this summer.

    Many thanks to Mr Mutch and Kitty.

  23. Wotta treat, I just loved this, from start to finish. I love solving a puzzle unaided.
    My last in was 16d, took me ages to see the anagram, clever.
    My absolute fave was 21a, huge smile clue.
    Thanks to Jay and to Kitty for stepping in. Loved the pic at 12a, comfy or what?

  24. Very nice puzzle completed without help but I also liked the blog and other comments which add to the enjoyment.
    Thanks to Mr Blue Jay and Kitty.
    Too many great clues to pick even a podium full. Though I did like the 1d pic as it reminded me of the chicken the frog and the library joke.

    Frog feeling unwell sends his friend the chicken to get him something to read.
    Chicken returns saying

    Book. Book. Book.

    Frog replies

    Reddit. Reddit. Reddit.

    I’ll get my coat now😉

  25. Hi

    Just reading the comments regarding Flash, I thought i’d mention that the Telegraph Puzzles site is currently being rewritten; as part of this, all Flash elements are being removed — thus meaning that interactive puzzles will be able to be played on browsers and devices that don’t support Flash.

    1. Is there any chance that I will be given a refund from my subscription when your software hasn’nt worked on my IPad?

    2. I had no problem accessing on my iPad at breakfast time as usual. Perhaps because I get it from the newspaper and not an app? I pay the newspaper subscription plus the puzzle subscription, and have done for ages now, so that I can print the crosswords. Will any of that change?

    3. Don’t even get me started on telegraph puzzles. All we get is a pathetic easy sudoku, a codeword, ( personally not interested), the quick one and the the cryptic. This is in the digital iPad issue.
      Where is the kakuro, the toughie, the killer sudoku, the hard or diabolical sudoku. Nowhere! I have filled in so many surveys on this. I only get it for the puzzles.
      I guess they just want you to pay even more for the puzzles.

      1. I must have the same App for the iPad as you. It works fine and Matt cheers me up each morning, but I don’t really understand why we don’t get access to the Toughie as well. I usually only buy the paper at the weekend and Mr Waitrose gives me “free” copies when I spend £10, which in my experience, is one of life’s easier tasks 😩
        It’s all a bit confusing….well, for me anyway😂

        1. Since yesterday, my account says ‘Cancelled or Expired Subscription’
          This is not true. My subscription is fully paid up.
          I have e-mailed the Telegraph and await their reply.
          Has anyone else this problem?
          Many thanks.

  26. At last mittwok and I have completed a puzzle **/**** thanks Jay 😃 Yesterday was very difficult. Favourites 18d & 9a 🤗 Thanks also to Kitty for the nice blog 👍

  27. A pleasure to solve as has come to be expected on a Wednesday.
    21a was my favourite.
    Thanks to Jay, and to Mr K for the review and pix.

  28. Thanks to Jay and Kitty for an enjoyable puzzle. Glad my iPad is behaving as my laptop just died and says it needs recovery… and it is a very spoilt and cosseted laptop, residing quietly in a drawer and only occasionally used for making photo albums etc. Oh well.

    Well it would be hard to pick a COTD, so I am going to go with a tie for 12a and 21a. Struggled with 2d and 4d. Loved the cat lift video, never seen one. Congrats to Hoofit on the cat adoptions, I am sure they will make great company.

  29. A fun, breezy solve, much more what I’m looking for from the Telegraph then yesterday’s offering. :-)

  30. sanction can also be a synonym and opposite.
    Then we have the implied opposites that are in fact synonyms, like inflammable. I love the English language !

  31. A contranym in the quickie-8D’s clue is “Skim;examine”
    Cryptic was a nice puzzle I thought.

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