DT 28837 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28837

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28837

Hints and tips by pommers

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

Hola from the Vega Baja on a warm and sunny RayThursday.  A bit on the tricky side for me this morning with some well-stretched synonyms and a couple of unusual definitions. There’s also a few rather complicated constructions so it’s ***/**** from me.  It will be interesting to see what you all made of it.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Essence of detective headquarters to contain trouble (12)
DISTILLATION:  You need the usual two letter abbreviation of a rank of a detective and then the headquarters where you might find him and the other coppers.  Into this you need to insert a three letter word which can mean trouble or misfortune.  I needed all the checkers before this little rascal revealed itself.

8a           Go back right before exit (7)
REGRESS:  Start with an R(ight) and then a word for an exit or way out.  Does anyone actually use this word for the way out?  “Excuse me, would you tell me where the fire****** is”?

9a           Subterfuge could be so naive (7)
EVASION:  Anagram (could be) of SO NAIVE.

11a         Boxers perhaps rejected second prize (7)
DRAWERS:  These boxers are underwear.  Start with an S (second) and then a prize and reverse the lot (rejected).  Took ages for the penny to drop here and pommette’s tea tray is looking a bit bent again.  I couldn’t get past dogs and pugilists, or even Chinese rebels, d’oh!

12a         Tonsure cut around top of head (7)
SHAVING:  A cut or economy is placed around an H (top of Head).

13a         Adolescent youth’s head is minuscule (5)
TEENY:  A word for an adolescent is followed by a Y (Youth’s head).

14a         Bubbly English male that’s not without love (9)
EBULLIENT:  Not Champagne but bubbly in character. It’s E(nglish), then a male animal, the two letters for ”that is” (that’s) and lastly NT (NOT but without the letter for love in tennis).

16a         Transferred company, backing being purchased by mutual? (9)
RELOCATED:  Take the abbreviation of company and reverse it (backing).  Around this (being purchased by) put a word which could mean mutual or part of the family.

19a         Rest start to do all right (5)
DWELL:  D (start to Do) followed by a word meaning all right or good.  This is one of those one-way synonyms.  REST is listed in Collins as a synonym of the answer but not the other way round.

21a         Proceeds topless and turns to go? (7)
INNINGS:  These are turns to have a go at batting but it also means periods of opportunity.  It’s the proceeds from a poker game perhaps but without the first letter (topless).

23a         Consider Queen backing wing taking pawn (7)
RESPECT:  Start with the usual two letters for Her Majesty and reverse them (backing).  Follow with a word which might be a wing of a religious movement and insert (taking) a P(awn).

24a         Sweetheart with strange dream about large gem (7)
EMERALD:  E ( swEet heart)  followed by an anagram (strange) of DREAM around (about) an L for large.

25a         Film brilliant gallery (7)
ACETATE:  The sort of film used on overhead projectors back in the days when Noah was a lad.  It’s a slang term for brilliant or very good followed by the usual crosswordland art gallery.

26a         Wandering minstrel with a tune, mostly musical piece (12)
INSTRUMENTAL:  Anagram (wandering) of MINSTREL and A TUN(e) but the last E is left out (mostly).


1d           Shame Germany, say, about to take notice (7)
DEGRADE:  The IVR code for Germany, the two letters for say and then two letters for about with AD (notice as in advert) inserted (to take).

2d           ‘Outlook‘ is necessary, not as organised (7)
SCENERY:  Anagram (organised) of NECESSARY but with AS removed (not AS).  This is OK by me but a strict Ximenean would say that there should be some indication that the AS to be removed is not in the right order.

3d           Muggins is tentatively keeping resolute (9)
INSISTENT:  A lurker.  It’s there (keeping) in the first three words of the clue.

4d           City guides for the audience (5)
LEEDS:  This city in Yorkshire sounds like (for the audience) a word meaning guides.

5d           Labour and Tory oddly capping benefit (7)
TRAVAIL:  The alternate letters (oddly) from TORY followed by (capping in a down clue) a word for to benefit.

6d           Crack exterior if I cement internally (7)
ORIFICE:  Another lurker lurking in (internally) exterior if I cement.

7d           ‘Fix‘ cat maybe owning ginger and white fur (12)
PREDETERMINE:  Start with what a cat might be an example of, dog or hamster would have worked just as well, and insert (owning) another word used to describe ginger hair.  After this you need the white fur from the winter coat of a stoat.  I got a bit fixated on the cat bit, no doubt as intended. Well, they can have ginger and white fur . . .

10d         Strangely hot etchings including beginner’s bedroom gear (12)
NIGHTCLOTHES:  Anagram (strangely) of HOT ETCHINGS around (including) an L for learner or beginner.

15d         Disparage article worn by true nerd at sea (9)
UNDERRATE:  Anagram (at sea) of TRUE NERD around (worn by) an indefinite article.

17d         Left with a new bird seeing light (7)
LANTERN:  A charade of L(eft), A (from the clue), N(ew) and finally a small seabird.

18d         Ring, possibly criminal operation, accepting time inside (7)
CONTACT:  To ring someone on the phone is one example (possibly) of this.  It’s a usual crosswordland criminal followed by an operation or deed with a T(ime) inserted (accepting . . . inside).

19d         Sweet of the French, very French tipping (7)
DESSERT:  The French word meaning “of the” followed by a reversal (tipping) of the French word for “very”.

20d         Drug everyone admitting the old bachelor’s rough (7)
EYEBALL:  Start with the usual one letter drug followed by a word for everyone.  Into this (admitting) you need to insert an archaic word for the and a B(achelor).  I don’t think I’ve come across this meaning before but the BRB has one definition of the answer as “of measurement – by eye only, not exact”.

22d         Hindu holy character is blue colour, almost (5)
SADHU:  Another word for blue as in down or unhappy followed by a word for  colour but without its last letter (almost).  Nice to see this chap again – he hasn’t been around for a while!

An enjoyable puzzle with top honours going to 11a with 1a and 22d on the podium.
Don’t think I’ve got the pun right – other suggestions welcome.  Thanks Gazza.

Quick crossword pun:     CHAPPIE     +     KNEES    =     JAPANESE


44 comments on “DT 28837

  1. That was Fun! Completed in *** time but enjoyed it *****.

    I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed solving a puzzle that much. 20d was one of the last to go in, with the overall meaning evading me for a while. However, 11a was the last to go in and definitely wins COTD.

    The state of my paper after finishing it, though, indicates the real need for us to get our scribble space back. Chris.L.? Are you listening? Sir.

    Many thanks to RayT and Pommers.

  2. I didn’t find this puzzle particularly tricky, but I’m usually on the RayT wavelength more often than not.

    Thanks to pommers and RayT 1.5*/4*

  3. I took the Quickie pun to be a description of someone (or something) from a Far Eastern country, but that may be completely wrong.

  4. 3* / 4*. Nicely challenging and great fun with all the Ray T hallmarks present.

    11a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to pommers.

  5. Good fun today with the East yielding first however overall no real hiccups. 20d foxed me as I was working around the Southern USA expression for everyone but couldn’t completely parse but I now realise it’s the old fashioned the (rather than you). Fav was 11a with 19d running up. Thank you RayT and pommers.

  6. A tricky start today in the NW corner, I then circumnavigated the puzzle in a clockwise direction to arrive back in the NW to complete the puzzle. Last man was 11a which took a while to parse, as did 7d.
    Agree with Pommers ***/****, overall quite difficult but entertaining.
    19D was a new synonym for me, I suppose it’s when you face up to somebody closely-assumed it would be in the BRB-thanks Pommers.
    Agree with Nippon in the QP.

  7. 21a my last one in and favourite of many fine clues from Ray T this morning. I found it pleasantly challenging with a nice clue mix and plenty of fun and humour to be had. A good balance of difficulty and enjoyment.

    Many thanks to Ray and to pommers.

  8. A cracking puzzle, as usual, from Ray T with great clues, a good challenge and very enjoyable. 3d: “Muggins is tentatively” is wordplay for a nine-letter anagram, with “keeping resolute” as the definition, surely! No, it’s well-hidden lurker. Deliberate surface misdirection, or just coincidence? 3.5* / 4.5*

  9. Probably at the easier end for a Ray T, but very enjoyable I thought. For differing reasons I liked 11a, 13a and 7d, and needed the hint to fully explain 20d, so thanks to Pommers. I suppose – in this context – it is a less annoying term than ‘ballpark’!

  10. This one felt more like a Beam today, but great fun!

    Favourite clue 11a followed by 21a. Last one in was 7d.

    Thanks to RayT and to pommers.

  11. Got to finish without the need to refer to the hints but forced to take a shopping break in the middle .

    It was a bit of a struggle for me today and liked 19d best due to its French Connection .

    Thank to everyone again .

  12. A really nice puzzle, I really liked the white fur, lovely moment when I fell in! Many thanks.

  13. Very nice puzzle. Just managed to complete it in my own personal target time. I thought 20d was a bit of a stretch. I liked 21d and 2d with top spot to 11a. Winter ones on soon.

  14. reference 8A military aircraft ingress and egress their refuelling areas – why they can’t enter and exit I have no idea
    Many thanks to Jay for a truly challenging Thursday and Pommers for several complicated parsing

    1. P T Barnum, the great American showman, once found that visitors were lingering too long in his museum such that it became too crowded for new visitors to get in and was costing him money. So he put up signs saying ‘To the Egress’ and visitors, thinking that were going to see a giant bird, followed the signs until they found themselves outside (and had to pay again if they wanted to get back in).

  15. Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the review and hints. A super puzzle, most enjoyable solve. It took me a while to get on the right wavelength, there hasn’t been a Ray T puzzle for a while. Thought I would never solve 7d, then the answer came to me. 3a was a brilliant lurker, and I had heard of the meaning of 20d, but took a while to get it. Liked 1a, but my favourite was 1d, such a succinct clue. Was 3*/4* for me.

  16. Having originally not being able to get “on wavelength” with RayT puzzles I have slowly come to terms with them and now actually look forward to every second Thursday. I enjoyed today’s a lot – on the easier end of the RayT spectrum (IMHO) although the SE corner put up some resistance. 20d defeated me and I needed Pommers’ clue to explain – having read this and consulted the BRB I think it’s more than a stretch.

    Favourite clues were 1a, 1d and 18d.

    Many thanks to Pommers and RayT.

  17. Did anyone else get Brian Hyland and then the Drifters ?
    Got stuck on eyeball AND boxers.
    I thought 11a only referred to female underwear, so you live and learn.
    Great puzzle though,really made me think.

  18. Slightly trickier than some recent RayT puzzles, like certain other commenters I found 7d required the most cogitation.

    My podium threesome comprised 11a, 12a and 5d.

    Many thanks to Mr Terrell and to Pommers.

  19. Just as good as Ray T crosswords always are.
    I’m out of sync at the moment and wasn’t expecting today to be Ray T – once I realised it was it became easier.
    7d took some untangling.
    11a was my last answer – like pommers I thought of fighters and dogs although I didn’t know about the Chinese rebels.
    Lots of good clues – 11 and 24a and 5, 7 and 20d.
    With thanks to Ray T and to pommers.
    What was the wrong Quickie pun? Having seen the right one I can’t think of an alternative to that.

      1. Ah – no, not stupid at all – just a mental block – I do it all the time with the puns.
        I suppose the alternative is that we’re both stupid! :unsure:

  20. Struggled with this one but knew it was due with a difficult Ray T today. Needed lots of assistance to finish, electronic aid etc and three hints from Pommers 7d no surprise there, 20d not a clue with that and 20d have actually used the term “eyeballl itl” to estimate something by looking at it. A bit like a “ball park” figure is used? Always thought those type of boxers were a female thing? Just for a change first in was 3d an ace lurker and pleased to have spotted it fist time. Never really on the wavelength but managed to finish it.

    Clues of the day: 3d / 20d

    Rating 4* / 2.5*

    Thanks to Pommers and Mr T.

  21. Well a fine puzzle from Ray T 😬 as usual needed a hint for 20d and 21a 😳 so ****/*** Favourites 8a, 25a and 4d 😃 Thanks to Pommers for his much needed hints and to Ray T for another tricky crossword.

  22. Great stuff from Mr T as always. I’m another who couldn’t see beyond dogs and fighters in 11a for quite a while and I did check 20d with the BRB.

    Tops for me were 1a &7d.

    Devotions to Mr T and many thanks to Pommers for the blog.

  23. I struggled a little bit with this today and needed the review for a few. The lurkers in 3d and 6d helped. Thanks to all.

    1. Hi Florence,
      I’ve just finished the book you recommended. Interesting, but I’m not sure that I would call it an ‘enjoyable’ read – I got quite angry at times!

  24. One of those Ray Ts where you can solve the clue from half of the words leaving the rest as a complete mystery ie 11a, 2d, 16a, 19a and 20d.
    Tricky but enjoyable where I understood the clue.
    Thx to all

    1. Good evening, Mr T. Nice of you to pop in as usual – quite a lot of variation in comments about the difficulty level today.

  25. Not my cup of tea, I didn’t find anything easy about this, felt it should have been in the Toughie slot. If Pommers finds it tricky, god help us average solvers. I can never seem to get on Ray T’s wavelength, and some of the clues, 1a, 14a and 7d were just too convoluted for me. Oh well can’t please everybody.

  26. Our statement of “Oh goodie, it’s a RayT Thursday.” was well justified once again. We did check BRB to confirm the meaning for the answer we had for 20d and there it was. Great fun from start to finish. Clue word count checked as usual.
    Thanks RayT and pommers.

  27. Just as a quick and fairly late comment I found it interesting that as soon as I realised it was a Ray T crossword I went into ‘Ray T mindset’ and had very little trouble after that.
    It just goes to show that wavelength is all important – well, it does to me anyway!

  28. I found this to be really hard! I’m out of practice however, as I usually only have the DT on Saturday these days. Needed the hints for about 50% of the grid.

  29. Pommers: 2d. I’m sure you’re right about the AS in the (excellent) review above. But if you read the “as” as two separate letters: “not a,s” or “not a/s” (the punctuation isn’t obligatory, of course) instead of the word “as” then the order of removal isn’t so technically critical. That’s what I did to justify it, but I’m probably wrong.

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