DT 28806 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28806

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28806

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

We have a plant pot close to our back door in which we planted a handful of daffodil bulbs. In the last couple of days they have opened in full bloom. The pine trees that we passed on our morning walk are loaded with small male cones that are packed full of ripe pollen that very soon will be coating the ground and all the puddles with yellow. Both signs that reassure us that Spring is on the way.

All the usual fun from Jay. We had a bit of a struggle with the Quickie pun until we realised that another synonym also fitted the checkers for the second word.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Company taken in by cunning university official and cleric (10)
ARCHDEACON : A word for cunning or sly, then a university official includes the abbreviation for company.

6a     One of the armed forces protected by American vessels (4)
URNS : The maritime armed force is inside the United States.

9a     Article held in trust exceptionally for players out of form (7)
TRUANTS : The two letter indefinite article is inside an anagram (exceptionally) of TRUST.

10a     Beginning to talk and walk like ducks? Nonsense! (7)
TWADDLE : The first letter of talk and the way ducks move on land.

12a     Earth-shattering volte-face? (6,2,5)
CHANGE OF HEART : A reverse anagram. The first two words of the answer tell you how to deal with the third word to give you EARTH.

14a     Doctor misses treacle (8)
MOLASSES : The abbreviation for an army doctor and then young women.

15a     Constant smells from these inlets? (6)
CREEKS : The abbreviation for a constant and then smells or has an unpleasant odour.

17a     Desire must come before soldiers shine (6)
LUSTRE : Engineering soldiers follow a strong, often sexual, desire.

19a     A clan involved in plot must be fair (8)
BALANCED : The sort of plot a gardener might tend surrounds an anagram (involved) of A CLAN.

21a     His old gran? She lost these investments (13)
SHAREHOLDINGS : An anagram (lost) of HIS OLD GRAN SHE.

24a     RADA, say, needs a friend with millions (7)
ACRONYM : ‘A’ from the clue, then a word for a friend or close associate and the abbreviation for millions.

25a     Something that makes you cry about sanctimonious belief (7)
OPINION : A two letter word for sanctimonious is inside the vegetable that makes your eyes sting.

26a     Concludes dispatch moving leader to the Far East (4)
ENDS : A word meaning dispatch has its initial letter moved to become the last letter.

27a     Racist son’s cooked breakfast in France? (10)
CROISSANTS : An anagram (cooked) of RACIST SONS.


1d     Type of degree offered by topless roles (4)
ARTS : Remove the first letter from dramatic roles.

2d     Local authority advice needing to be heard (7)
COUNCIL : A homophone of a word for advice.

3d     Professional bridge-builder who might make an impression? (6,7)
DENTAL SURGEON : A cryptic description. Molars and canines could be involved in this bridge-building.

4d     Appointed in the role of token journalist (8)
ASSIGNED : A two letter word meaning ‘in the role of’, a synonym for token or indication and then a senior journalist.

5d     Get the better of some, without doubt (5)
OUTDO : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

7d     Poorly rated exercises in bureaucracy (3,4)
RED TAPE : An anagram (poorly) of rated and then physical exercises.

8d     Son shed tears before a team is dismissed (5,5)
SWEPT ASIDE : The abbreviation for son and a word meaning shed tears, then ‘A’ from the clue and a sports team.

11d     Sarah prepared father escargots, but very tough (2,4,2,5)
AS HARD AS NAILS : Start with an anagram of Sarah, then a dialect form of father (the one we met last week) and the English word of escargots.

13d     Underwear with lace designed to be of limited size (5-5)
SMALL-SCALE : A six letter informal word for underwear and an anagram (designed) of LACE.

16d     Do nothing in fixing train fare from India (8)
TANDOORI : ‘Do’ from the clue and the letter representing nothing are inside an anagram (fixing) of TRAIN.

18d     Afraid to cross river with evidence of injuries (7)
SCARRED : The abbreviation for river is inside afraid or frightened.

20d     Pad and copper ring used in climb (7)
CUSHION : The chemical symbol for copper, and then the ring-shaped letter is inside a word to climb up a pole.

22d     Shellfish for me really encapsulates it! (5)
ORMER : Another lurker hiding in the clue.

23d     Responsibility, but it’s our treat (4)
ONUS : Split the answer 2,2 to understand the wordplay.

The one that took us longest to solve and gets our vote for favourite is 24a.

Quickie pun    fizzy    +    shun    =    physician

49 comments on “DT 28806

  1. Lovely puzzle
    Favourite 12a
    Anyone tackling the Toughie, well worth it for the smiles and mild innuendo, will experience a wonderful sense of deja vu from the very start.

  2. 2* / 5*. Brilliant!

    I didn’t think you could use “shin” without it being followed by “up” to mean “climb” but my BRB says you can.

    12a was my favourite but many more came into contention.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. P.S. I see that the Quickie Pun clues are now italicised in the paper even when they comprise only two answers. A good innovation from our new(ish) editor! That’s possibly been the case for some time but I’ve only just noticed.

    2. Hmm my post got timed out. With regard to ‘shin’ I do remember it from my mispent youth. Something along the lines of ‘shinning’ up (or down) a drainpipe. In my mind either a young man shinning up to lovely young lady’s room without her parents’ knowledge, or her shinning down to meet him.I was a convent boarding school girl so there was no shinning going on, those nuns were superbeings, they could hear the slightest thing from a 1000 feet or more.

  3. I agree with RD at #2 with pretty much everything he said. I thought 12a was an outstanding clue, one of the very best. Jay has given us a superb puzzle this morning, not overly difficult but very high in fun and enjoyment.

    Many, many thanks to all three birds involved in today’s excellent production.

  4. A very enjoyable solve – I can’t pick a favourite from so many – so I’ll just say thank you to Jay and the 2Ks

    PS After you’ve done the Toughie, with the aforementioned deja-vu moment, our Snape, in his Eccles alter-ego, has a very nice puzzle in today’s Indy

  5. Loved it! A gentle start to get me going in the “I can do this” way and then a few head scratchers and a d’oh moment with 3D. Thank you Jay and the 2Kiwis. Daffodils – what a lovely thought as we swelter on here in the south east UK. Not that I’m complaining ………

  6. 2*/4* great fun. 3d had me for a while, kept thinking bridge was the nose. COD 12a. Many thanks.

  7. Started off awarding ticks for places on the podium but had to give up – far too many contenders.
    A delight from start to finish, including the Quickie pun.

    Many thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks who have the delights of springtime ahead of them.

    PS The deja-vu in the Toughie must be one for Mr K’s attention!
    PPS Please do find time for Eccles in the Independent – I thought it one of his best.

    1. Mr K is super busy at the moment, but if he can’t then I can look this evening.

      I’m currently away from my computer and the crossword, so will leave a proper comment later, but just wanted to second the recommendation for the Eccles puzzle which I thought was brilliant.

      1. Isn’t the internet a wonderful thing when used in the right way.

        I have just spent an hour or so reading up on Quantum Physics – again – and still can’t quite grasp the concept. Is it? Is it not? Both, apparently. :unsure: :wacko:

        1. Hello LbR.

          Is it? Is it not?

          Yes and no.

          The point of the story really is that cats are not like very small particles.

          I’m certainly not (nom nom), but a superposition of alive and dead does seem to describe me quite uncannily much of the time.

          1. Gosh I love the comments here. The crossword is very enjoyable. The clues are helpful and often a lovely laugh, especially the photos and videos, but the comments put the cherry on top!

            The dead/alive cat reference. The dry comment about Brexit.

            While I was in the UK my friends were arguing about it in a good natured way over lunch and I had absolutely no more clue or chance of understanding it by the end of lunch than I did before.
            I remember us joining the common market. I remember not being that keen but what the heck. It seems to me that back then the UK were given this little egg that everythone thought would crack open to produce a chick and then possibly and chicken for dinner and somehow it turned out to be a dinosaur egg and now no one knows how to get it back into Jurassic Park….. Just saying from a completely uneducated point of view.

          2. Hello Kitty – not entirely sure what a superposition is, but it sounds great

            Hello to Dave and Carolyn too

            1. I’ve been feeling less than full of life lately, hence the ghost kitty, mummified kitty, and now Shrödinger’s kitty gravatars. (I have also felt quite drawn to the idea of hiding under a sheet or in a box!) Time to be brave and emerge soon, I think …

      2. Same day repeats of an answer in the Toughie and on the back occur about six times every year, which is about what we expect by chance. The data is presented in my blog intro for DT 28584

        1. Great bit of analysis, Mr K. Your statisitcs add to the many enjoyments of this site as listed above by the wonderfully named Carolyn south of Marmora in rural Ontario.

          1. Thanks, RD, glad you enjoyed it.

            I agree with your sentiments about the value added by the diverse commentary on this site, including Carolyn’s entertaining anecdotes.

            Now I must get back to discussing quantum physics.

            1. Thank you, Mr K – I do remember looking at the chart you produced. What particularly interested me was whether the repeats had ever previously been placed at 1a in both of the puzzles. I did wonder whether Mr Ed is testing your statistical abilities!

              1. That 1a coincidence is an interesting question. I’ll need to do a little more analysis to answer it. Soon, I hope.

              2. Hi, Jane. I now have the answer to your interesting question.

                Since 2009, and excluding this puzzle, there have been 59 days on which the toughie and back-page puzzles contained the same answer somewhere in the grid. The shared answer appears with the same clue number only once, on 12th August 2014.

                On that day GREASE was the answer to 24a in both puzzles. The Toughie and back-page clues were “Film of oily matter (6)” and “Film Greek facility (6)” respectively, so both puzzles also used the same definition.

                1. Thanks Mr K. So this repetition at 1a is, so far, unique ( or would be but for the singular/plural difference). I was intrigued that on the following day there was a spheric and aspheric same sense answers.
                  Thanks again for your illuminating statistics

                  1. Yes, Toughie and back-pager have never before featured the same answer at 1a. I don’t have the time to solve many puzzles at the moment, so I had missed the aspheric thing. Thanks for pointing it out.

                    And thanks for your thanks – I’m glad you enjoy the statistics.

  8. I spent far too long trying to work LYCEUM into 24a, resulting in a Doh! moment. As a result, it shares the podium with 12a.

    Many thanks to Jay and The 2Ks.

  9. I agree with everyone else, a splendid puzzle with lots of contenders for joint second place, but top marks to 12a – very clever.

    Now for the Toughie following those recommendations, but with the Test Match being a distraction, not sure how I’ll do..

  10. Excellent puzzle even when performed whilst watching the cricket on the box. I hadnt really warmed to jays last couple of crosswords which is unusual for me, but this was a cracker.

  11. Really enjoyed this though I had to look up what I thought was a lurker in 22d in the dictionary. Apart from that I am pleased to say I managed it in little spurts of being wide awake through the night. Insomnia has its perks.

    My quick trip to London to meet up with some ‘old girls’ was lovely. Long suffering hubby also went for 3 days just after me to his mother’s funeral, hottest day of the year apparently, he did well with the eulogy, almost broke down but managed.

    More than anything though I would like to thank 2Kiwis for the description of the pine trees and the pollen, we have exactly the same experience, just at opposite times of the year. That yellow pollen gets everywhere, especially where we park our car. I do so enjoy reading about your life. As I do reading the opening remarks from all of the lovely peeople here. Thank you.

  12. 12a was the absolute winner for me. Hadn’t heard of 22d, ( or perhaps I’d just forgotten it ), which I recognised as a lurker then had to do a googlething to check. Thank you Jay and the 2K’s.

  13. A very enjoyable puzzle to solve, about average I’d say on the Wednesday difficulty scale, and a few more anagrams than usual.

    Just to be different, I haven’t put 12a on my particular podium, but 14a, 3d and 5d have received the laurels instead.

    Many thanks to Mr Mutch and the 2Ks. I would also recommend today’s Eccles puzzle, it is excellent.

  14. Most enjoyable. As a retired dentist bit ashamed to admit that I was slow to pick up on 3 down.

  15. Jay casts his magic once again. A lovely crossword to solve so many thanks to him, and to the 2K’s for their review.

  16. Agree a top drawer puzzle that had everything and on the radar from the off. Not always on the radar with Jay’s puzzles so pleased to have completed with a feeling of satisfaction. Last in14a simple once the penny dropped! A really enjoyable solve from Jay thank you.

    Clues of the day: 12a / 3d / 8d and a few more.

    Rating: 2.5* / 4.5*

    Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay.

  17. My first one for a while after a holiday and what a cracker to come back to. Could have chosen many clues for the podium but thought 24,14 and 12 across were all very clever.
    Thanks to Jay and the two Kiwis

  18. **/****. Great fun while it lasted. 3,11d&12a were my favourites. Thanks to all. Our skies are overcast this morning which is a welcome relief from sizzling blue sky days. We just need a spot of rain now to green the parched land.

  19. Sailed through another Jay cracker.
    Wonderful set of clues.
    I spent far too long racking my brains trying to think of anyone who had built a bridge, I ought to have learnt that by now!!
    I am on the train to Devon, so have ample time for a crack at the Toughie.
    Thanks both.

  20. Delightful puzzle,Jay has a way with words. Needed the 2Ks help with 3D and 24A, my thanks to them.

  21. Yes, all very enjoyable. Did it after the toughie which made things a little easier. :)

    Was particularly tickled by 10a. Quack quack.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  22. After having lost two posts, my iPad’s fault, it’s on its way out, sadly, am trying again.
    Super puzzle, though a bit tricky for me. I never did get 15a and needed the hint.
    Fave was 12a, but 14a and 24a were close behind.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis, love the “snapshots” every week.

  23. I often struggle with Jay’s offerings but today was doable after a slow start. 22a was new to me too. The South fell first. Favs were 12a and the amusing 23d. Thank you Jay and the 2Kiwis who are so lucky to be approaching springtime whilst we are sweltering but still have to get through a winter before any prospect of seeing daffodils, etc.

  24. Great fun, and 15a had me completely stumped. Thank you for your assistance with that one Kiwis, I don’t think I would have slept tonight if you hadn’t helped me with that one.

  25. Lovely puzzle today. I did manage to get my knickers in a twist with the lacy underwear. I also went through the entire indian menu before I got the right answer. The shellfish was a bit obscure but a faint hint of recollection means I must have heard it before.
    Thanks to 2Kiwis and Jay.
    Lots to like but I’ll agree with the K’s and go for 24a.

  26. This was lots of fun, even Mrs PVilly, who usually has no interest in cryptic crosswords, chipped in with the answer to ‘something that makes you cry ‘ just when I was starting to struggle a bit with the SE corner.
    Despite my love of mussels and other such delights, 22d was new to me. 24a also made me smile.
    Not often I start and finish by early evening so greetings to one and all…..and thanks to the 2Kiwis and Jay.

  27. Morning all.
    Once we had written the preamble above we decided that the daffodils looked so good that they deserved a more prestigious position so the pot got relocated to a place of honour by the front door.
    The negative thing about the pine pollen that we did not mention is that it is a trigger for hay fever symptoms so regular medication has now got under way.
    Nobody has yet mentioned getting into strife with the Quickie pun. Perhaps we were the only ones who tried to put SNUB in for 4a. That really had us chasing our tails.
    What a surprise we got when, after completing this puzzle, we started on the Toughie and saw 1a there.
    Glad to see that everyone enjoyed this offering from Jay.

  28. Lots of fun to be had today, say ** for difficulty here. Last in 3d which was worthy of Rufus.

  29. Just finished it in bed this morning. I agree that 24a was the last to go in – how clever!

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