DT 28854 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28854

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28854

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

On our walk on Saturday, before we had even got as far as the duckling ponds, we spotted a flock of recently arrived birds. They are the front runners of our regular flock of Bar-tailed Godwits and had just arrived after a non-stop flight from their breeding grounds in Alaska. They will stay with us now until the end of summer.

All the usual fun from Jay once again.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


7a     Horse‘s insect problem making a comeback (7)
MUSTANG : We have a biting insect and an arithmetical problem. All this gets reversed.

8a     Sort of vehicle difficult to pass initially (7)
HARDTOP : A synonym for difficult, then ‘to’ from the clue and the first letter of pass.

10a     Live close to region developed with hub (9)
NEIGHBOUR : An anagram (developed) of REGION and HUB.

11a     Called boy attending bride perhaps starting to doubt (5)
PAGED : The male equivalent of a flower girl at a wedding and then the first letter of doubt.

12a     Women enveloped by strain may be able to move fast (5)
SWIFT : The abbreviation for women is inside strain or sieve.

13a     Spring pudding as butt of joke? (5,4)
APRIL FOOL : A month that most of you (but not us) associate with Spring, and then a pudding often associated with gooseberries.

15a     Boxer during break must be a practical type (7)
REALIST : The world’s best known heavyweight boxer is inside a break or time off.

17a     Cuts speech oddly in pieces (7)
BISECTS : The first third and fifth letters of speech are inside pieces or parts.

18a     Sign accepting he’s an authority on words (9)
THESAURUS : ‘Hes’ from the clue is inside the zodiac bull sign.

20a     Children may be a bone of contention (5)
ISSUE : A double definition.

21a     Stung by soldiers finding range (5)
ORBIT : Lowest ranking soldiers and then stung, possibly by the insect from 7a.

23a     Area of company making sweeper cover busy road (9)
BOARDROOM : An anagram (busy) of ROAD is inside a sweeping implement.

24a     Not working after notice, and stop claiming benefit (4,3)
SIGN OFF : A three letter word for not working follows a notice that might be displayed on a post.

25a     Relation with a right to be less than explicit (7)
UNCLEAR : A male previous generation relative plus ‘A’ from the clue and R(ight).


1d     Take in a smile as it develops (10)
ASSIMILATE : An anagram (develops) of A SMILE AS IT.

2d     Container needed by group outside a church? (6)
SACHET : ‘A’ from the clue and the abbreviation for church are inside a group or band.

3d     Unenlightened Italian bloke losing head with worker (8)
IGNORANT : Remove the first letter from a title equivalent to Mr for an Italian man, then a worker insect.

4d     Flatmate may be more alert, ignoring parking (6)
SHARER : Remove the letter designating parking from a word for more alert or more astute.

5d     Struggles, seeing Greek tech company succeeded (8)
GRAPPLES : The abbreviation for Greek as a language, then the tech company who produced the IPad and the abbreviation for succeeded.

6d     Animal‘s temperature in helium perhaps going up (4)
STAG : Reverse the state of matter in which helium is normally found and include the abbreviation for temperature.

7d     Car stops outside north of Rugby for service given (13)
MINISTRATIONS : A small car from the 1960’s and then stops found on a railway line include the first letter of Rugby.

9d     Pressure confuses crew on Queen Elizabeth and another vessel (6,7)
PADDLE STEAMER : The abbreviation for pressure, then a word for baffles or confuses, a synonym for a side and the regnal cypher.

14d     Provoked editor after incident (10)
OCCASIONED : An incident or happening and then the short term for an editor.

16d     Independent people welcoming clubs’ lack of movement (8)
INACTION : The abbreviation for independent and then people or race contains the card suit designation for clubs.

17d     Try very hard except being occupied by 6 and university (4,1,3)
BUST A GUT : A three letter word for except surrounds U(niversity) and the animal from 6d.

19d     Slight case of reserve in front of enthusiast (6)
REBUFF : The first and last letters of reserve and then an enthusiast or expert.

20d     Charge defined by Latin dictionaries (6)
INDICT : Today’s only lurker hiding in the clue.

22d     Sacks reserves (4)
BAGS : Double definition. The sacks are containers and an informal verb for reserves.

Instead of a favourite we’ll give you a pic of a bar-tailed godwit.

Quickie pun      Paris    +    heights    =    parasites

43 comments on “DT 28854

  1. Fun and no sweat. 7d last to go in as I had wrongly bunged in 21a whilst at the same time wondering where soldiers came into my solution. Hard to pick a Fav from several clever clues. Thank you Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  2. All so far seem to agree on the puzzle being not too difficult and fun-fine by me and a **/**** also.
    Liked 17d with the inclusion and the surface of 13a.
    Amused by the quickie pun-did this have anything to do with the Ryder Cup ?
    Thanks to the 2K’S- loved the pic for 23a tusks and all.

  3. Wow! I completed it apart from 20d. Didn’t know the word. A rare accomplishment for me & I feel right pleased! Maybe my recent special in hospital boosted my brain power. Thanks Jay.

    1. Is it saying ‘ You can try very hard but not before 6pm as you are busy with university things’ (not ‘Uni’ – hate that one)?

      I am nowhere this one.

        1. Sir Linkalot has already said that he understands the parsing … but the surface is unusually “clunky” for a Jay clue.

          1. Thanks, Stanners.

            I got the stag bit but couldn’t get the surface read. So, clutching at straws, I suggested 6pm.

            Can someone explain what….”Try very hard except being occupied by stag and university” means?

            “Clunky’ means that it makes sense but it isn’t that smooth a surface read.

            The above, to me, makes absolutely no sense, whatsoever. Is there something missing, perhaps?

            (I haven’t looked up your comment from the previous crossword, Miffington Popsicle. So, apologies, if it’s exactly the same clue)

              1. I’ll move on and take is a rare aberration from Jay.

                It would be fab if he could come on to the blog to put me out of my misery but I don’t think he comments which is absolutely fine. There is, obviously, no obligation for him or any setters to do so.

                I’m just losing the plot here….

  4. Very straightforward (almost a *&*) which enabled completion at a fast gallop – 1.5*/4*.

    Favourite, a toss-up between 7d and 9d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

          1. The letter that ‘read’ begins with, an ampersand, and the letter that ‘write’ starts with has been rightly consigned to the round file along with solving times on this blog, as it is totally subjective and possibly disparaging.

            Writing crosswords? That made me smile!

  5. The usual quality enjoyment from Jay this morning. Pretty straightforward but a joy to complete. 7d my favourite of many terrific clues.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  6. At the easier end of the Wednesday spectrum for sure, but no les enjoyable for that.

    My favourite clue was 9d.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Colin and Carol.

    P.S. I do hope that the Beluga whale in the Thames manages to get back to the open sea safely.

  7. Really enjoyed this puzzle after a couple of days struggling that I now put down to the builders being all over the house? As usual with Jay it took a while to get on his wavelength then it all came together quite nicely. First in 10a last in 16d although NW corner showed the most resistance, 7d took a bit of getting but really liked it.. A very good solve from Jay with one or two clues raising a smile.

    Clue of the day: 7a / 7d

    Rating: 3* / 4*

    Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay.

  8. Yes agree with all the comments re difficulty.
    I needed the hint for 7a as I had never associated the answer with a horse. One to remember for future crosswords.
    Thanks all.

  9. 6d was the first one to jump out at me and then the remainder toppled like well-ordered dominoes.
    No particular favourite but a good puzzle from Jay as usual.

    Thanks to him and to our 2Ks for the blog. Enjoy the Godwits – we get a few of those (and black-tailed) on passage but they don’t linger long.

        1. You’ll have to come and visit us Jane. We have a resident flock of Royal Spoonbills on the estuary so they are a common sight for us.

  10. A puzzle of two directions today. The acrosses were all in with only a few downs in the NE corner. With all the checkers the downs were soon tumbling too. 17d was last one today because I was using bar instead of but in the fodder.
    Thanks to Jay and 2K’s.
    I was once accused of being a bird brained **** wit. I was a bit miffed at the time but now I realise they were comparing me with a charming and attractive bird 😀

  11. A very enjoyable offering from Jay today, with smiles for 12a, 15a, 25a and 17d. 4d is not a word I’ve ever heard used for a flatmate though. Last in was 16d. Thanks to 2Kiiwis for hints.

  12. Very enjoyable offering from Jay today. Alas, I missed one, 17a, where I had stupidly put the wrong tense in 5d and so had a “d” as the third letter.
    My fave is 7d, followup is 9d.
    Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis, always enjoy the snapshots of your walks.

  13. */**** Thoroughly enjoyed today’s puzzle which I completed in one quick burst. A rarity! Many thanks to the setter for this little gem that was right on my wavelength.

  14. Great fun, very enjoyable especially after my struggles of yesterday.
    My only comment is with 21a, can a bite be considered a sting? Sorry just being pedantic! And before I once more incur the wrath of CS, I did look up Sting in the BRB. and there is no mention of a bite.
    Thx to all

  15. Nice crossword agree **/**** 😃 lots of clever clues perhaps 3d & 18a best for me 🤔 Thanks to Giovanni and to the 2 x Ks thanks for the Godwit info and the picture 😉

  16. Morning all.
    Looks like there is general agreement about the level of difficulty and enjoyment for this one.
    We are truly impressed at how Jay is able to consistently produce puzzles like this week after week. A skilled setter indeed.

  17. Jay is in very benign mood today! Almost over before I knew it! Good fun though with 9d a typical example and therefore my favourite.
    Thanks to Jay and the Two K’s and their godwits.

  18. Enjoyed. Everything I could comment on has already been posted. Thanks to Jay and our antipodean friends.

  19. No problems this evening except that I bunged in 16d as inertion and then could not find an answer for 18a until I tried to justify 16d and realised my error! Nice range of enjoyable clues.
    Thanks to all.

Comments are closed.