DT 28801 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28801

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28801

Hints and tips by Falcon

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

Greetings from Ottawa, where a month-long drought has been brought to an end by several days of record-setting rains — a downpour of near Biblical proportions. The good news is that the rains appear to have passed and the coming weekend is shaping up to be warm and sunny.

There is no doubt that today’s puzzle is a creation of RayT — at the top of his form with all his hallmarks present and certainly no one can complain about a lack of innuendo.

In the hints below, underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, and indicators are italicized. The answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.


7a   Success assuming Queen generation’s legacy (8)
HERITAGE — a successful song, for instance, assumes or accepts Her Majesty’s regnal cipher (a RayT hallmark); this is followed by a characteristic period of time in history

9a   Capital is new with fool’s gold (6)
NASSAU — a charade of N(ew), an equine fool, and the chemical symbol for gold

10a   Rabbit’s tail, small and trim (4)
SCUT — S(mall) and another word for trim or lop

11a   Strangely hesitant to accept American supporter (10)
ENTHUSIAST — an anagram (strangely) of HESITANT around a short adjective meaning American

12a   Dismal victory attempt (6)
WINTRY — simply string together words meaning victory and attempt; the former is a noun, the latter can be either a noun or a verb

14a   Clear over story about Conservative grabbing member (8)
TENTACLE — reverse (over) a word meaning to clear or make as a profit; then add a story or narrative wrapped around C(onservative)

15a   Hazy, beginning to get wet (6)
GRAINY — the initial letter of Get followed by how one might describe a wet day

17a   Coal is unloaded for public (6)
SOCIAL — an anagram (unloaded) of COAL IS gives another term for public as in public housing

20a   Delay following parking jam? (8)
PRESERVE — to delay (a judgement of a court, for example) following the symbol for parking found on street signs

22a   Rejection of French love gripping man’s heart (6)
DENIAL — a French term meaning ‘of’ is followed by the score signified by love in tennis wrapped around the heart of the word “mAn”

23a   Brad Pitt perhaps taking on female villain (10)
MALEFACTOR — what Brad Pitt is an example of embracing F(emale)

24a   Sweet  herb (4)
MINT — a double definition

25a   Providing returns while facing company collapse (6)
FIASCO — reverse (returns) a synonym for providing, then add another word for while and finish with CO(mpany); the solution is a word that sports fans might employ somewhat bitterly when their team (as I recall pommers recently saying) “snatches defeat from the jaws of victory”

26a   Small bird diving around lake (8)
DUCKLING — another word for diving surrounding L(ake)


1d   Education after half-term’s suffering (8)
TEACHING — a word meaning suffering or feeling pain comes after the first half of TErm

2d   Hand that’s good, holding spades (4)
FIST — a synonym for good or suitable containing the abbreviation for the suit of spades produces a clenched hand

3d   Security, for example, checking iron temperature (6)
SAFETY — a word meaning for example surrounding (checking) the chemical symbol for iron and abbreviation for T(emperature)

4d   Bar nothing welcoming naughty nude suggestion (8)
INNUENDO — another name for a bar or pub and a letter that looks like nothing at all cover an anagram (naughty) of NUDE

5d   Reckoning on time, as it turned out (10)
ESTIMATION — an anagram (turned out) of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th words of the clue

6d   Cheers without rising for decoration (6)
TASSEL — start with an informal expression of gratitude; then add a reversal (rising in a down clue) of a word meaning without or minus

8d   End of affaire, say, giving grounds (6)
ESTATE — the final letter (end) of affairE and a synoym of say or express

13d   Headed over save, oddly, in short cross (10)
TRANSVERSE — place a word meaning headed or directed plus the odd letters of SaVe inside a synonym for short or concise

16d   Some tommyrot arranged to hold up storyteller (8)
NARRATOR — the solution can be found hidden (some) and reversed (to hold up) in the 2nd and 3rd word of the clue

18d   Inclination to accept right result of 1 Down? (8)
LEARNING — another term for inclination or tilting around R(ight)

19d   Loathed embracing sweetheart with passion (6)
HEATED — another term for loathed or detested around RayT’s hallmark swEetheart

21d   Rockers’ old ally delivering important equipment initially (6)
ROADIE — RayT’s hallmark acrostic or initialism clue; take the initial letters of the first six words in the clue; the entire clue provides the wordplay in which the definition is embedded

22d   Caught, gutted by disastrous run (6)
DIRECT — the initial and final letters of CaughT (the word having been gutted) are placed beside (in this case following) a synonym for disastrous or dreadful

24d   Everyone supports motorway shopping centre (4)
MALL — another term for everyone follows (supports in a down clue) the symbol for motorway found on signs aloing the route

On the podium today, I have placed 14a, 23a, and 4d. And the winner — by a country mile — is 4d.

The Quickie Pun:- FIE + TINT + HAWK = FIGHTIN’ TALK

53 comments on “DT 28801

  1. Easier at the top than the bottom and I did smile at the inclusion of some definite Ray T 4d

    Thanks to him for the crossword and Falcon for the explanations

  2. 2* / 4.5*. Great fun all the way. All Ray T’s trademarks are on show today with even more brevity than usual. There is only one eight word clue to be found (18d), and even this might have been cut to seven by replacing “1 Down” with “1d”, or even just “1”.

    4d is my favourite but, unsurprisingly, I do have a particular liking for 10a as well.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Falcon.

  3. Hurrah! Not only completed this one but could parse everything too!

    It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was certain that RayT’s puzzles were beyond me…now I look forward to them!

    And I’m meeting an old pal for lunch…what a day!

    Thanks to RayT and to Falcon.

      1. You are very welcome…..I am only telling the truth!

        I definitely would never have been able to solve a Ray T (and a lot of others) without the help of this most excellent site.

  4. Put in “twee” for 10a otherwise all ok .

    23a give me the biggest smile so must be my favourite .

    Lovely crossword .

    Good luck to Geraint .

    Thanks to everyone .

  5. All the fun of the fair and with every trademark polished to perfection.
    We’ve come across 14a quite regularly recently and I have to say that was the best clueing I’ve seen thus far.

    4d takes the honours for its nod to the creator.

    Devotions to Mr T and many thanks to Falcon for the blog. I’m sure your illustrations will find favour with our compiler!

  6. So that’s what a 21d looks like..
    My favourite was also Brad Pitt,followed by 9a.
    Nothing too difficult but highly entertaining.
    I agree we have had a fair few14a waving about recently..who could forget the squid in the jar?
    I love the blog..thank you Falcon and of course our setter.

  7. Another excellent puzzle and a **/**** for me.
    Like KFB considered ‘twee’ for 10a ,then I saw 2d.
    Agree with Jane re 14a, probably my favourite.
    20a gave me a fresh meaning for reserve-I knew it would be in Chambers.
    liked the surface of 21a.
    Three hedgehogs in the garden last night crunching dried catfood !
    Thanks Falcon for the pics- was 14a the girl in Octopussy ?

    1. I wonder whether you have a catflap, Beaver? I rented a house on Rating Row (you will doubtless know where that is) whilst my bungalow was having major works carried out, and the hedgehogs eventually gravitated from taking catfood in the garden to using said flap and coming in to help themselves directly from the cat’s bowl!

      1. Brilliant Jane , no cat flap in Tarporley or in the Beaumaris ‘ bolt hole’ just round the corner from Rating Row in Church Street- still on a squirrel mission ,Gariant the carpenter says he frequently sees them on his early morning bike rides, there’s still hope !

        1. Can’t believe that you’re still managing to miss the little red beasties. Holiday season is perhaps not the best time to see them but I’d be quite happy to take you on a mission in September – if you contact BD, he’ll pass on my email address to you.
          The deal is – if I find you a red squirrel, then you have to let me accompany you for a meal at the Indian!

  8. Another belter from Ray T this morning. Hugely enjoyable with just the right amount of head-scratching to keep us honest. I always thought that 4d was an Italian suppository.

    Thanks to the aforementioned and to Falcon.

  9. For a Ray T Thursday, this was very enjoyable and solved at a comfortable gallop – **/****.

    Joint favourites – 7a (must select the one with HM in) and 14a.

    Thanks to Ray T and Falcon.

  10. Thanks to Ray T and to Falcon for the review and hints. Great puzzle as usual, plenty of innuendo, especially in 4d :-) I liked 4d,26a&16d, but my favourite was 23a. Super puzzle, was 3*/5* for me.

  11. I thought my software update on my phone had cured my posting promlem yesterday, but it’s back to incognito mode today.

  12. A very typically enjoyable RayT creation, like CS I thought the bottom was a little trickier than the top, but overall it was probably about average difficulty on this setter’s scale.

    Top clue for me was 22a.

    Many thanks to Mr Terrell and Falcon.

  13. As usual found this Ray T tricky but enjoyable with plenty of head scratching along the way. A lot of Lego clues that took a bit of building and strangely found the bottom half went in easier than the top half, with last in 10a and.I actually got 18d in before 1d, odd that I suppose? Anyway a typical Ray T that I managed to complete so that’s a plus in my book.

    Clues of the day: 26a / 4d / 21d

    Rating: 4* / 3.5*

    Thanks to Falcon and Mr T.

  14. Another great crossword from RayT, completed later in the day, for a change after a leisurely lunch.
    Thanks to Falcon and RayT

  15. No idea with this unfortunately. I could not understand any of the wordplay so resorted to trying to solve via the definition and got nowhere.
    Luckily I always save the weekly online prize crossword for a Ray-T day.
    Thanks all

    1. Keep at it, Hoofit.
      See my post above. I would have sworn that I would never have been able to solve a RayT but the day has dawned for me and it will for you too

      1. Maybe. I only give them a cursory glance now as unlike everyone else, I don’t like them, I prefer the cluing of the likes of Jay and Giovanni. If you are Toughie standard, they must be great fun, I am not and I find them a drudge. Each to their own.
        I did the prize online one in record time, so it’s horses for courses, I guess.

        1. I’m always relieved to see that I am not the only one who struggles with Ray T puzzles. I’ve been trying for ages and don’t seem to get anywhere with unraveling his clues. Thank you for making me feel not quite so stupid.

          1. Where is Brian when you want him? He is always so succinct on this subject!

            Too late in the day for me to comment on the puzzle as everybody has said everything already. Great stuff though.

        2. It is wavelength. If you persist then look at the hints which will help you work them out for the future

  16. Nice example of Ray T’s work. Concise and fun once you got on wavelength. 22a was my top clue.
    Thanks to Ray T, and to Falcon for the review.

  17. Solved this one fairly comfortably, but had to leave top left corner until last.

    Thanks to Ray T and Falcon.

  18. Nope, not my cup of tea. Ray T usually defeats me and today was no exception. For all you non-posters out there, don’t despair. You are not alone if you find his puzzles too tough. He is on a different wavelength and obviously a joy for those who can rise to the challenge. For me, I give it my best shot, and then hope for something a tad easier tomorrow.

  19. Evening all. Many thanks to Falcon for the elucidation and to everybody else for your comments.


  20. Excellent puzzle and thoroughly enjoyed. We note that RD has already checked and reported on the word count so we don’t have to this week.
    Thanks RayT and Falcon.

  21. I’m late in commenting although mission was accomplished with breakfast and then I was delighted that Falcon made his usual timely appearance to help with a couple in the NW and the parsing for 13d. 10a escaped my memory once again. Liked the simplicity of 20a. Thank you RayT and Falcon.

  22. Lovely stuff, best puzzle we’ve had in a while, with so much to like. About ** for difficulty overall, but there were quite a few that needed thinking through.

  23. I also struggle with RayT but his clues are always fair and once I spot the definition, I’m half way there.
    Didn’t need a thesaurus today as there were no unusual synonyms.
    Liked the anagram in 5d.
    14a made me think of Jane for some reason.
    Thanks to YS for the joke, to RayT for the crossword and to Falcon for the pictures.

      1. I’m sure there was a conversation about this word not long ago.
        Could be dreaming though.
        I don’t have much time to post lately but I try to read what has been said on the blog.

  24. Although I have been doing the DT crossword for years I must confess I have never been able to recognise individual setters – is that an awful confession? I wish the name of the setter could be published like it is for the toughie. I enjoyed this one and did them all except for 7a. I am a Freddie Mercury fan!

    1. You seem not to be alone in your musical tastes. The appearance of Queen in virtually every puzzle set by RayT is supposedly meant as a tip of the hat to his favourite band.

    2. See the FAQs number 28. Which helps. There are a lot of RayT indicators.
      1 usually a mention of Her majesty
      2 all full words for answers. No splits
      3 an acrostic.
      4 No clues with more than eight words
      5 The Quickie puzzle will have clues with only one word. The Quickie puzzles are set by the same compiler as the cryptis each day.

  25. Succeeded in finishing both yesterdays and today’s back page and for first time ever today’s Toughie, all without help. So I thought I would join the blog at long last ! I have always really enjoyed trying to complete unaided and then reading the hints and blog comments when I failed! Thanks to all

  26. I picked up my dear little propelling pencil and worked my way happily through this masterpiece, I then dialled up the blog (as I do every day) to discover that it was a Ray T. Thanks to him and Falcon from one very happy old lady.

  27. One day late but enjoyed solve in the sun. I found SW a bit of a struggle. 13d last in and I needed Falcon to parse it for me. Why some took me so long eg 20a I do not know. Favourites 22 and 23a

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