DT 28813 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28813

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28813

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty ***/****Enjoyment ****

Good morning everyone and what a relief to have a bit of cooler weather after all the heat. This is a Ray T crossword which I found to be at the trickier end of his range of difficulty – I wonder what the rest of you thought.  There were very few anagrams – I made it only four but maybe I can’t count – and that, for me anyway, contributed to the difficulty level as I do rely on them to get started in any crossword. I had particular trouble with the bottom right hand corner.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought and how you got on today.

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are hidden under ANSWER so only do that if you want to see one.


1a        See core ideas changing about Church (11)
ARCHDIOCESE — An anagram (changing) of CORE IDEAS around (about) one of the many two letters meaning Church – it’s always nice to have a long answer all the way across the top especially if you can get it immediately but I didn’t.

10a      Overtly gazes, letting eyes settle initially (5)
 OGLES — The first letters (initially) of the remaining words of the clue.

11a      Almost put out admitting temper is reckless (9)
DANGEROUS — A five letter word meaning to put out (a fire) with water without its final E (almost) which contains (admitting) a synonym for temper or rage.

12a      Charm of a fine cat’s dissipating (9)
FASCINATE — An anagram (dissipating) of A FINE CAT’S.

13a      Actor employed by sex trade (5)
EXTRA — Our first lurker or hidden answer indicated by the word employed – it’s hiding in the last two words of the clue.

14a      Passages east of Florida Keys (6)
AISLES — The final letter of Florida ie the easterly one (or for those directionally challenged like me the one on the right) is followed by another word for ‘Keys’ or little bits of land in the sea.

16a      Maximum load for schooner? (8)
GLASSFUL — A spot of lateral thinking is required here – this schooner is not a boat.

18a      Boro’ under Southgate clinching game (8)
ROUNDERS — Another hidden answer (clinching) is in the first three words of the clue

20a      Doesn’t eat going without last of fine banquets (6)
FEASTS — A synonym for doesn’t eat or starves contains the final letter (last) of fine.

23a      Cut digit catching front of remote drone (5)
THRUM — A synonym for a digit, not a number but one of the useful bits on the end of your hand, without its final letter (cut) containing the first letter (front) of remote.

24a      English jumper in charge for vault (9)
STOREROOM — Charge, or attack suddenly, contains (in) the one letter abbreviation for English and another abbreviation, this one being for a large Australian marsupial which jumps (jumper). I took a very long time to get the answer and then even longer to see why it was what it was.

26a      Bad smell over time produces neurosis (9)
 OBSESSION — A reversal (over) of a bad smell, the kind coming from someone who hasn’t had a shower for a while, is followed by a period of time or a sitting.

27a      Fellow comprehends American author (5)
TWAIN — A fellow or counterpart contains (comprehends) a one letter abbreviation for American.

28a      ‘Earthly time slips’ describing Einstein’s first experiment (11)
TERRESTRIAL — Begin with an abbreviation for Time, follow that with a verb that means slips or makes a mistake and stick an E (Einstein’s first) in the middle of it and then finish that lot off with an experiment or test. Phew – another one that took me ages.



2d        Has a spin in posh car (5)
ROLLS — A nice straightforward double definition.

3d        Opposed upright member supporting House (7)
HOSTILE — A word meaning an upright member in framing or panelling comes after (supporting) an abbreviation for House. I’d never heard of that meaning of the second bit of the answer.

4d        Possibly serve up inside pub restaurant (6)
 INDIAN — A reversal (up) of a synonym for serve or assist goes inside another word for a pub or tavern.

5d        Do with females commonly embracing ultimately fanciable clots (8)
 CONGEALS — The answer is a verb – this kind of ‘do’ means cheat or diddle and it’s followed by a slang word for females or girls which contains the final letter (ultimately) of fanciable. I spent far too long thinking that the ‘clots’ were a noun that meant twits.

6d        They pursue limits of knowledge kept by prophets (7)
SEEKERS — A synonym of prophets or fortune-tellers contains (kept by) the first and last letters (limits) of knowledge.

7d        Fire criminal lot hosting ‘Blue Peter’? (13)
CONFLAGRATION — Our usual criminal, or prisoner, and a lot or share are divided by (hosting) a word of which ‘Blue Peter’ is an example – it’s not a children’s programme.

8d        Bishops and pawn touching rows (8)
PONTIFFS — The one letter chess abbreviation for Pawn, a synonym that means touching or in contact with and, finally, some rows or minor quarrels.

9d        Formation fighting his battles capturing soldiers (13)
ESTABLISHMENT — An anagram (fighting) of HIS BATTLES contains (capturing) a three letter word meaning soldiers.

15d      Quite conservative Queen wears dresses, husband follows (8)
SQUARISH — Two letters which are an abbreviation for Queen – not ER this time – go inside (wears) some dresses, the kind worn by Indian women, and then we need a one letter abbreviation for Husband.

17d      Supporter nearly getting more rowdy (8)
BRASSIER — A bit of women’s underwear (supporter) without its final letter (nearly).

19d      Estate seemed strangely to possess new interior (7)
DEMESNE — An anagram (strangely) of SEEMED contains (to possess) the one letter abbreviation for new.

21d      One puts up vicar after tea, essentially (7)
ERECTOR — The central letter (essentially) of tea is followed by a vicar or priest.

22d      Particles found around hip articulations (6)
JOINTS — Some particles or little bits containing (found around) a short word meaning hip or fashionable.

25d      Occasionally, cops also called into foreign port (5)
OSAKA — The even letters (occasionally) of cops are followed by a three letter abbreviation that means is also called or known as.

I particularly liked 23 and 28a and 25d (even if that one took me for ever). My favourite was 15d.

The Quickie Pun:- RUE + LINK + LASS = RULING CLASS

65 comments on “DT 28813

  1. I thought this at the trickier end of the Ray T spectrum but not quite a Beam

    Thanks to him for the crossword and to Kath for the illustrated explanations – 15d was my favourite too

  2. 3.5* / 4*. A lovely Ray T offering to brighten a very wet day here in London. I found this a puzzle of two halves in terms of difficulty – the LHS went in smoothly but the RHS was a very different kettle of fish.

    I was guilty of gross stupidity with 25d getting as far as writing in Oslo before realising it didn’t have enough letters. :oops:

    27a took me an age to parse even though the answer couldn’t have been anything else from the checking letters.

    28a was my last one in and favourite.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

    1. Yes, I fiddled with Oslo for ages, which caused the extra pain of stopping me putting ‘also’ alongside ‘called’…..

  3. Certainly some tricky bits to unravel today, particularly – as Kath also found – in the bottom RH corner. 27a & 25d were the last to fall and RD will be pleased to hear that, whilst I didn’t get as far as committing pen to paper with the latter, I did look to see whether there was an alternative spelling for Oslo!

    Podium places awarded to the simple but effective 16a plus 27 & 28a along with the criminal lot on Blue Peter and the very clever 25d.

    Devotions as ever to Mr T and many thanks to Kath for the blog – nice to see you back in the big red chair.

  4. I too had great difficulty in the SE corner, needing Kath’s hints to get me over the line. I really couldn’t see why T..N means fellow, but it is in the BRB. I also hadn’t noticed the longer version of the underwear.

    Being British, rather than Australian, a schooner is a large sherry glass, not a lager measure.

    Many thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  5. Now that the answers to 28812 are in the public domain I wonder how many of my fellow Geordies answered 28a with ‘clever clout’? At least until the final’ s’ became apparent.

    1. As yesterday’s crossword wasn’t a prize puzzle, and indeed the solutions are available under the Click Here button, you could have asked this question yesterday without getting into trouble.

      I’d say that if any Geordies had done that, they’d have commented to that effect yesterday

  6. Try again .
    Not my cup of tea or coffee today. More toil than pleasure .
    Finished before the hints BUT needed electronic help for 19D and Kath’s hint for the reason for the author .
    No smiles today so no favourite .
    Full of admiration for the crossword though .
    Thanks to everyone .

  7. I agree that this was way up there in terms of Ray T’s range of difficulty – thanks to him and to Kath for the superb blog.
    I didn’t know (prior to today) that 8d could mean bishops – I always thought the word was reserved for the Pope.
    I thought that 18a was pretty good because I believe that the sainted Gareth once managed Middlesbrough. I liked 28a, 7d and 15d but my favourite was 25d.

    1. Yes, I thought there was only one of those 8d folks at a time.. living in VC……I should have asked a friend who doesn’t quite wear the purple but is close to it.

  8. No doubt about the difficulty rating, a ****/**** for me today, I found the lower half to be harder to solve, particularly the SE corner .Last in was 27a which had to be Mark but I failed to parse-thanks Kath.
    My favourite was 28a which was a charade and a half, 24a a close second-I could go on.
    Special thanks then to Ray T for a top draw puzzle.

  9. It was a genuine 3 or 4 for me, because I had to eventually give in to electronic help for 2 of the long words, after which all the answers were parseable, albeit tricky, but thanks to Kath anyway.

    Other than a couple of quite dodgy synonyms, this was a hard but legit puzzle, with lots of misdirection, so thanks to Ray T for the workout.

  10. Absolutely excellent from Ray T! Great clues, a good challenge and very enjoyable. Too many first-class clues to isolate a favourite. 3.75* / 4.5*

  11. I’m with Kath in having struggled in the SE otherwise all was finally well but without much enjoyment along the way. Couldn’t think of an alternative to mausoleum for 24a so had to seek help. Not keen on 4d being persistently used as a stand-alone noun. Fav as 16a. Had all the components of the Quickie pun but couldn’t come up with it however it does rather depend on one’s pronunciation of 5a. Thank you RayT and Kath.

  12. Like Kath I did not know the particular upright member in 3d, and I was another who went to 25d via Oslo – not the most direct route.

    Lots of really nice clues, including 14a, 5d and 15d, but my favourite is 21d.

    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  13. Very enjoyable break on a wet wintry day. Fell into the ‘Oslo-‘ trap. Dipped out on 28a (never heard of that word being a synonym of experiment – and me supposedly being a scientist of sorts!). Well worth the effort for the laughs alone. Fav = 26a. :wacko:

  14. Can’t remember the last time I didn’t finish the Cryptic but 3d, 14a, 25d & 28a were beyond me!! Toil more than enjoyment today.

  15. I feel I am going to be the first one to put this into my extremely difficult category, or should I say quite beyond me! But I did enjoy the reasoning behind the clues, so thank you Kath and Ray T.

  16. Phew! Tough but very enjoyable.28a was particularly fiendish. 7d my favourite. Thanks Kath and Ray t.

  17. Excellent crossword in the Guardian today, for my bi-weekly trip there. Looking at the comments sounds like a good choice.
    I shall enjoy going through the hints, just hope I don’t get neck-ache shaking my head in disbelief. Thanks Kath.

  18. I thought this was about as hard as it gets for a back-pager. My last one in, after what seemed an age, was 15d which I will nominate as my favourite. Perhaps this too much of a struggle to be truly enjoyable, but at least the sense of satisfaction was enhanced come the finish.

    Thanks to Ray T for the considerable challenge, and to Kath.

  19. I do not remember a RayT puzzle taking as long as this one did to unravel, however the experience was most enjoyable.
    My favourite clue was 25d.

    Many thanks to RayT, and to Kath.

  20. Yes, RayT at his toughest I would agree, luckily the wettest day of the summer so far allowed more time to unpick the hardest clues.

    My ticks went to 1a, 18a, 28a and 17d.

    Many thanks to Mr Terrell and Kath.

  21. Beyond my grade in a lot of ways yet started off ok and didn’t think it was a Ray T at that stage? Needed lots of reference help plus electronic assistance and Kaths hints for a couple. Yes I fell in the Oslo trap like others.

    Well done Kath for sorting that puzzle out to a deadline as well, full marks to you. Completed and felt it was enjoyable to a certain extent but not complaining, and there was some very good clues in a very challenging puzzle. Hopefully got two weeks grace before the next one?

    Clues of the day: 23a / 17d

    Rating: 4.5* / 3.5*

    Thanks to Kath and Mr T.

  22. Got there in the end. A wonderful puzzle.****/*****. Lots of good clues but the two which stand out for me are 16a and 24a.

  23. The only reason, in my opinion, that this wasn’t a Beam is the inclusion of a few anagrams.

    Definitely a tricky solve but mightily enjoyable. Thanks to Kath and RayT 4*/4.5*

  24. Bit of a curates egg. The top was ok and fun but the bottom was a beast. Still don’t get Brassier for more rowdy, why should a fellow be a twin and why is the central letter of Tea the e. Liked the top but found the bottom sloppy and irritating.
    Thx for the hints.

    1. Hello Brian

      The dictionary may help with brassier, twin as in companion, fellow, or counterpart and essence is the core, or centre.

      Frankly, I don’t think it’s fair to call the setting sloppy – a great deal of effort goes into every clue, and accuracy is paramount.

      I have never been irritated by a crossword in my life. If I don’t like it, I put it in the round file.

      1. :good: although Brian never fails to amaze me – a few months ago he would not have had a good word to say about any Ray T crossword – at least today he thought the top was OK.

        1. Hello Kath, nice to see you back – I do hope younger Lamb is well.

          I can’t help but wonder if, when Ray T ‘dislikers’ twig his style, they will become converted; we’ve seen quite a few of those (but not Hoofit, yet!)

    2. It’s reasonable to be irritated by sloppy clues, at least in crosswords in respected publications where there is an expectation of quality.

      It’s also reasonable to be irritated by commenters dismissing sound clues as sloppy. Or indeed lauding or defending clues which are faulty but have slipped through the editing net.

      I’m not irritated by either today (I am in a good mood as I’ve been invited out by an old friend, with whispers of going to a cat café). But I will say that the second case happens much more frequently than the first.

  25. It’s a Ray T puzzle, ‘nuff said. When I have to resort to looking at the hints I wonder why I find his so hard. Then I get to ones like 24a and 17d and realize I will probably never be on the same wavelength as this chap. Way above may pay grade. But kept me out of mischief anyway. Thanks Kath for the very necessary hints.

    1. Your post amused me! I shouldn’t have even printed it off, it was so way above my head. I agree, I’ll never be on his wavelength, even with Kath’s hints, I was somewhere lost in space. I really don’t mind, doing without a crossword once a fortnight is not a bad thing, give me an extra hour to read, I’d probably be glad of the respite.

  26. Yes we agree that this one had us working hard and we also looked long and hard at how Oslo could be made to fit in 25d, a very clever clue.
    A delight from start to finish and much appreciated.
    The clue word count checked as always and all found to be in order.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

    1. Good evening, Mr T. You certainly made us earn our reward today! Most enjoyable regardless – thank you.

    2. Hello Mr T – as an aspiring setter I am happy to report that your good self, Mr Mutch, Mr Greer, Mr Halpern and Mr Lancaster are an inspiration.

      Thank you, keep ’em coming

  27. All been said I think, 17d 15d stood out. Spent a few moments thinking slips in 28a was an anagram indicator, Oh dear. Thanks RayT and Kath.

  28. Thank you, Ray T, for the crossword and for calling in to take responsibility for it as he always does.
    Thanks, also, to everyone for the comments.
    I’m off to London very early tomorrow morning to help our Elder Lamb, her partner and their baby move house so need to go to bed soon.
    Night night all and sleep well – I think I will! :yawn:

  29. I forgot to print the crossword off before going up to London this morning. I had hoped to fill it in on the train. Never mind, I thought, it’s something to look forward to when I get back. Only problem is my train’s been cancelled, and the next train doesn’t get me home until silly o’clock. I’ve read the comments and decided that come what may, I will give this RayT a go. Thank you Kath and RayT. Everybody will be in the land of nod before I get home.

  30. I successfully negotiated about three quarters of this puzzle before I ground to a halt. I left it for a few hours and then returned and as usual breezed through the remaining clues. Why does this always happen?
    Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for her review.

    1. Because there’s a part of your brain that carries on working things out even though the rest of the brain and you are doing something entirely different. I always recommend to people who are struggling to get going on a crossword, that they put it down for a while and then return, when they should find that they are then able to solve more clues

  31. Damn hard work, took me days (and cost DT a few day’s sales, as I had a projector and I wasn’t giving up). Enjoy the challenge of a Ray T, and many of his clues, but (whatever the obscurities of dictionaries may say) I do not like 17d. But I should have twigged the regular underwear theme.

  32. Only just got to this one as I was otherwise engaged on the day and forgot the print I’d done. Came across it this morning so had a go.

    Phew! I reckon this was submitted as a Beam Toughie but the crossword editor though it not quite tricky enough so bunged it on the back page. ****/**** from me.

    Thanks to RayT and Kath. Glad it wasn’t me in the chair that day.

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