DT 28873 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28873

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28873

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone. I’m not in any doubt that this is a Ray T Thursday although some of his trademark clues are missing in this one – no ‘sweetheart’, no answers made up from the first letters of words in the clue and not much, if any, innuendo. The other thing I noticed was how few anagrams there were – I made it just two and one partial one.

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

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


1a        This compiler’s critical taking time for cryptic (10)
MYSTERIOUS — How the setter would say that something belongs to him is followed by a synonym for critical or precarious which contains (taking) T[ime]

6a        Bird regularly in bliss (4)
IBIS — The alternate letters (regularly) of the last two words of the clue

9a        Scorch sealing hot cut (5)
SHEAR — Scorch or sizzle around (sealing) H[ot]

10a       Buyer of tea’s in cleaner surroundings (9)
PURCHASER — An informal word for tea, with the ‘S, goes inside (in) a synonym for cleaner or less polluted

12a       Loot is piled so high (7)
DESPOIL — An anagram (high) of PILED SO

13a       More enthusiastic ‘Fortnite’ player?? (5)
GAMER — ‘Fortnite’ is a video game (thank you Mr Google!) so someone playing it is the same word as one meaning more enthusiastic or up for anything

15a       Section of Government ran Chequers section (7)
TRANCHE — Our first lurker or hidden answer indicated by section – whether you choose the first or last word of the clue as the indicator or the definition is entirely up to you.

17a       Old luvvies falter heartlessly before show’s opening (7)
STAGERS — A synonym for falter or be unsteady on ones feet has a double letter in the middle – remove one of them and follow that with the first letter (opening) of show

19a       Cap owner after vacation alfresco (7)
OUTDOOR — A verb to cap or surpass is followed by the first and last letters (after vacation, or emptying) of O[wne]R

21a       Time to accept revolutionary Labour leader’s position (7)
ECHELON — A period of time contains (to accept) the first name of a Latin-American revolutionary leader and the first letter (leader) of L[abour]

22a       Glue is finished by end of tube (5)
PASTE — A synonym for finished or over is followed by the last letter (end of) [tub]E

24a       Component of part is annealed for mechanic (7)
ARTISAN — Our second lurker indicated by the word component – it’s in the middle of the third, fourth and fifth words of the clue

27a       Narcissist, say, old bloke in charge across America (9)
EGOMANIAC — String together the two letter abbreviation meaning say, or as an example, O[ld], bloke or chap and the two letter abbreviation for I[n] C[harge] which contain (across) A[merica]

28a       Cockneys’ excitement seeing gathering (5)
FRILL — Don’t go hunting for a word that means excitement and begins with an H conveniently waiting for you to get rid of it as this is a different characteristic of ‘cockney speech’ and one that I didn’t know – apparently it’s common for a TH sound to be pronounced as F. Someone who had children at the same school as my Lambs spoke like that – her son and daughter were called Matthew and Catherine – I always wondered what on earth had possessed her to give them names she couldn’t say properly . . .   

29a       On any occasion first lady precedes Queen (4)
EVER — The first lady, the naughty girl in the Garden of Eden, comes before the one letter for a Queen

30a       Looking back, honour involves stardom occasionally (10)
RETROSPECT — A verb to honour or think highly of contains (involves) the alternate letters (occasionally) of sTaRdOm



1d        Not noticed audibly in fog (4)
MIST — A homophone (audibly) of a word that means not noticed or failed to spot

2d        Firm date’s changed going on diet (9)
STEADFAST — An anagram (changed) of DATE’S is followed by (going on) a synonym for diet or abstinence from food

3d        French bread? (5)
 EUROS — No – not a baguette – bread is the slang term for money here

4d        One learning about politician in press (7)
 IMPLORE — The letter that looks like a one and some learning or legends contain (about) our usual crosswordland two letter politician

5d        Opens out posh new motor (7)
UNROLLS — The one letter meaning posh or upper class, N[ew] and a flashy expensive car (motor)

7d        Flourish acquiring small chest (5)
BOSOM — A verb to flourish or thrive contains (acquiring) S[mall]

8d        Funny socialists ultimately revolt, seizing power at last (10)
SURPRISINGThe paper version and the early on-line version of this clue had the last two words missing. This caused me much grief and a sleepless night because, although the answer had to be what it was, I just couldn’t make sense of it – thanks to CS and Chris Lancaster for sorting it out.

The last letter (ultimately) of [socialist]S and a revolt or mutiny which contains the last letter (at last) of [powe]R

11d      Bunk wife included in house rent (7)
HOGWASH — This bunk isn’t something you sleep in – it’s a load of old twaddle or codswallop. Begin with the two letter abbreviation for HO[use] and then follow them with a rent or deep cut which contains (included in) the one letter abbreviation for W[ife]

14d      Climate unfortunately heats more round top of pole (10)
ATMOSPHERE — An anagram (unfortunately) of HEATS MORE and the first letter (top) of P[ole]

16d      Short depression during cold period provokes illness (7)
CHOLERA — Three of a four letter word (short) that means a depression or a dent are contained in C[old] and a period of time or an age

18d      Insect concealed by such as border plant (9)
EGLANTINE — The two letters meaning such as, or as an example, and a border or a boundary contain (concealed by) a small, scavenging social insect

20d      Effect behind untruths, reportedly (7)
REALISE — Two homophones combined – the first is one meaning behind or back and the second is untruths or fibs

21d      One seduces jerk embraced by upstanding Frenchman (7)
ENTICER — An involuntary jerk or twitch is contained in (embraced by) a reversal (upstanding) of a common first name of a man in France

23d      Heart following spades produces points (5)
SCORE — The one letter abbreviation for S[pades] in a game of cards is followed by the heart or centre of something

25d      Endless band around iron strongboxes (5)
SAFES — A four letter word for a band or belt without its final letter (endless) contains (around) the two letter chemical symbol for iron

26d      Stomach consuming large surfeit (4)
GLUT — Stomach or innards containing (consuming) L[arge]

I particularly liked 15 and 27a and 14d. I think my favourite was probably 11d

The Quickie Pun:- HASTE + AXE = HAYSTACKS



34 comments on “DT 28873

  1. Some head scratching (was it almost a Beam rather than a Ray T?) required for completing this very enjoyable puzzle at a fast canter – ***/***.

    Favourite 27a with 3d not far behind.

    Thanks to Mr T and Kath.

  2. Apart from the confusion caused when parsing 8d, this didn’t take quite as long as some of Mr T’s productions

    Thank you to both him and Kath

  3. 3* / 4*. A lot of this typically enjoyable Ray T puzzle went in quite easily but some of the clues put up quite a fight, particularly 8d which I see from Kath’s comments had two essential words missing from the clue!

    21a was my favourite with 27a in second place.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

  4. Completed without any help but needed to read the hint for 13a for explanation .
    The hint for 28a not needed as was a bung in and my favourite .Fanks to everyone .

  5. Slightly left of centre on a 1-5 scale.
    Needed some coffee to complete 3 answers on the right after a shampoo break.

    Thanks Kath for the explanation of 8d. It had to be what it was but it was a spaghetti junction of a clue without the 2 missing words.

  6. I had not heard of Fortnite but by a happy coincidence the BBC website has a clip of Strictly competitors imitating the dance moves from the game. Not sure I’m any the wiser! Typically fine puzzle from Ray T, so thanks to him and to Kath for her equally fine review.

  7. Luckily when I got round to printing off my version, 8d had been corrected.

    No problems today – at the gentler end of the difficulty spectrum.

    Thanks to RayT, and to Kath.

  8. What I love about Ray T is that he really makes you earn your self-congratulations.
    Brilliant puzzle.
    Many thanks, Ray T and Kath for the review.

  9. Nice to finish a Ray-T without recourse to hints. A couple I need to check on Kath’s hints.
    RHS was considerably harder than the LHS.
    The definition of 17a seemed a bit obscure presumably a theatrical reference.
    8d was my LOI and I’m still not sure of the parsing or why it took me so long to find a word that fitted the checking letters. Edit just read Kath’s comment and that explains everything.
    Thanks Kath and Ray-T.

  10. After a successful completion yesterday I found today a quite different kettle of fish! Only managed half before I had to resort to the hints. So thank you to Kath and the setter. They say pride goes before a fall!!

  11. Ripping. Just Brilliant. Thanks to RayT Kath CS CL for their efforts and SS for the lunchtime treat.

  12. Very nice puzzle – just about completed in my personal target time. Joint first place to 17a and 11d, for me. Toughie is quite reasonable today as well, except for one!

  13. Took a while to get into this puzzle but it all came together and a ***/**** for me, lots of my favourite charades like 18d and 21a and a good variety of clues throughout.
    last in was 17a, and I needed the checking letters as I was not sure what they were called
    Thanks to Kath-liked the hogwash!,

  14. All was going swimmimgly then for some reason just couldn’t progress, but as so often out with digs for walk along cliffs, came back and almost wrote in most answers 11d and 21a last two in.
    Thanks to RayT fir the brain ache and to Kath for great hints

  15. On realising it was a Ray T didn’t dare take it to the Abbot Oasis or Mrs J would have had no sense out of me at all this evening. Never really been on RT’s wavelength and have to work hard to get his cluing lined up in the right order and not fall over the definition misdirections. Couldn’t get 18 down not just because I don’t know plants nor had never heard of the answer but still think the ‘L’ as clued belongs after the ‘ANT’?? . 7 Across was solvable but a new word for me but I am only a tender 60!! Couldn’t parse 8 Down but subsequently of course found out my paper version had been mis-clued. As ever a deferential thanks to hinter and setter.

  16. ***/****. A bit of googling needed to solve/understand some of the clues/answers. It was rewarding though once I got to the end. Thanks to the setter and Kath for the blog.

  17. A very enjoyable tussle indeed, thanks as ever to the Blog for clarifying why I couldn’t get 8d to work.

    My top three clues were 27a (I wonder whom our setter had in mind?!), 11d and 23d.

    Many thanks to RayT and Kath.

  18. Had to go out before the blog was posted so have been wondering on and off throughout the day why I couldn’t make 8d work. Mr T may stretch synonyms but I couldn’t even vaguely justify ‘R’ for power!
    All good stuff as usual even though I’d never heard of Fortnite and did have to check on the archaic answer for 17a.

    Favourite was 27a with a nod to 26d which rather amused me.

    Devotions to Mr T and many thanks to Kath for getting the blog out when I suspect you’ve rather got your hands full with ‘real life’ stuff!

  19. Today’s offering was IMHO a bit prosaic but that said it did contain some intriguing clues with 27a Fav and 15a running up. I’m not into video games so, like Kath, had never heard of Fortnite (13a). TVM RayT and Kath.

  20. Evening all. Many thanks to Kath for the analysis and to everybody else for your comments.


  21. Good crossword which after several twists and turns gave a very satisfactory solve. 8d was my favourite.
    Thanks to Ray T, and to Kath for her excellent review.

  22. Late on parade today as have been out to a long lunch in our blogger’s home city with old friends. Lots to enjoy from this Ray T offering, and plenty of head-scratching whilst completing it. Some lovely smooth surfaces and clever clueing throughout. 27a probably the pick of many fine clues.

    Thanks to Ray and to Kath..

  23. A thoroughly absorbing puzzle from one of my favourite setters. For no good reason, 13 & 17 across caused me more head scratching than most of the remainder of the clues. 28 across & 8 down were two of my favourites. Thanks to RayT & Kath.

  24. An enjoyable tussle.
    NE corner was last to fall, eventually I assumed there was a setting error at 8d. I sort of got 13a without knowing Fortnite, from the two definitions: more enthusiastic/player, but struggled to see particular relevance of the double??
    Favourite was 14d
    Many thanks to RT and Kath

  25. I love the mix-up with Realize/Realise & Organize/Organise (and a couple more).

    The correct spelling is with a Z (Latin Organizare, Greek Organizen) but the French love to soften letters so amended it to an S which us Angles adopted when Billy The Conk rocked up in 1066.

    Americanisms (or should that be Americanizms? – stop it) have changed all sorts of words to a Z (Analyze…etc).

    So, people assume Realize as an Americanism which it ain’t. However, I tell school children to put an S in their exams as many GCSE & A Level examiners think it’s wrong (I’ve spoken to a few) and they’ll lose a mark.

    The OED (I don’t have Chambers) have the first entry as a Z.

    Realize, it is.

    Deep joy.

  26. An enjoyable romp through Mr Terrell’s Thursday cryptic crosswordland. No outstanding favourite clue but I just love the answer for 11d great word :smile:

    Thanks to Ray T for the puzzle and Kath for her excellent blog.

  27. 3*/4*
    Contemporary political references in 15A (Brexit) and 27A (US leader) perhaps.
    Liked the old luvvies in 17A.

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