DT 28896 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28896

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28896

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

A beautiful sunny day here as we write this. So good that we could now almost call it early summer. On our walk this morning we came across two Royal Spoonbills happily sifting through shallow water gathering their breakfast. What a pity we did not have our camera handy as it was a very memorable peaceful scene. Makes us really appreciate the part of the world where we live.

We thoroughly enjoyed this Jay puzzle too.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a Quarrel coming after fine for litter (6)
FARROW : The abbreviation for fine and the missile fired from a bow or crossbow.

5a Like a loo can be extravagant! (6)
LAVISH : A three letter suffix meaning 'similar to' follows a different slang word for a loo.

10a Condition of king during takeover (5)
CROUP : The regnal cypher for a king is inside a takeover of a regime.

11a Soldiers with stress reported ability to remember (9)
RETENTION : Engineering soldiers and then the rest of the answer is a homophone for a synonym of stress.

12a Sadly drops out, forgetting daughter – and moves on? (7)
UPROOTS : An anagram (sadly) of dROPS OUT once the abbreviation for daughter has been removed.

13a Fancied hotel client in audition (7)
GUESSED : Another homophone. This one sounds like somebody staying in a hotel.

14a The height of joy, welcoming European victory? (9)
ELEVATION : The abbreviations for European and victory are inside a word meaning joy or happiness.

17a Pads from tyres that can’t be used (5)
FLATS : These tyres can't be used because there is no air in them.

18a Itinerary revealed in case of resistance (5)
ROUTE : A word meaning revealed or in the open is enclosed by the first and last letters of resistance.

19a Away orbiting the globe, able to take it all in (9)
ABSORBENT : A three letter word for a globe is inside away or not present.

21a Salesman needs to return, stifling urge for this open-top vessel (7)
PITCHER : A word for an urge or yen is inside the reversal of a travelling salesman.

23a Satellite tour regularly confronting snapper (7)
ORBITER : The second and fourth letters of tour and then a snapper or something taking a mouthful.

25a Bilbo got a wrong instruction for a musician (9)
OBBLIGATO : An anagram (wrong) of BILBO GOT A.

26a Crime is a primarily rational issue (5)
ARSON : 'A' from the clue, then the first letter of rational and a male offspring.

27a Flyers needing exercise and common sense (6)
PEWITS : Physical exercise and then common sense or nous.

28a River in Leeds diverted for senior citizens (6)
ELDERS : An anagram (diverted) of LEEDS contains the abbreviation for river.


2d Answer and almost lament affair (5)
AMOUR : The abbreviation for answer and then lament for the passing of somebody loses its last letter.

3d Discount welcoming professional person rejected by God (9)
REPROBATE : The three letter shortened form of professional is inside a discount or refund.

4d View a restaurant stocking merchandise (5)
WARES : A lurker hiding in the clue.

5d Giant list developed for people taking legal action (9)
LITIGANTS : An anagram (developed) of GIANT LIST.

6d Chosen location means dropping leader (5)
VENUE : Remove the first letter from a means or way of achieving a goal.

7d Trim mould around joints (9)
SHIPSHAPE : Joints found at the top of legs are inside a verb meaning to mould.

8d Soak eating cold northern dish (6)
SCOUSE : The letter signifying cold on a tap is inside a word meaning to soak. (This culinary meaning was new to us).

9d Those taking charge needing oxygen in mountains? (6)
ANODES : A South American mountain range includes the chemical symbol for oxygen.

15d Just calm about it (9)
EQUITABLE : 'It' from the clue is inside a word meaning calm or amiable.

16d Popular listeners after arrival may be overdue (2,7)
IN ARREARS : The two letter word for popular and then the three letter abbreviation for arrival precedes hearing appendages.

17d Troublemaker shot eating breakfast cereal (9)
FIREBRAND : Shot or discharged surrounds the breakfast cereal reputed to bring you 'inner health'.

18d Entranced with golden eagle perhaps (6)
RAPTOR : Entranced or in a state of ecstasy and the heraldic word for golden.

20d Sort of skimpy underwear about right for a crowd (6)
THRONG : The abbreviation for right is inside skimpy underwear (or an Australian's flip-flop).

22d Redeveloped Thai island republic (5)
HAITI : An anagram (redeveloped) of THAI and the abbreviation for island.

23d Australia working with energy and gas (5)
OZONE : A slang word for Australia then a short word meaning working or in operation and the abbreviation for energy.

24d Stunner from Home Counties pinched by sailor (5)
TASER : The compass quarter where the Home Counties are found is inside one of the variants for a sailor.

Lots of great clues today so we won't single out any one of them for special mention.

Quickie pun havoc + Russian = have a crush on

59 comments on “DT 28896

  1. 2.5* / 4.5*. A lovely puzzle to continue Wonderful Wednesdays. It was mostly straightforward but with some challenging clues requiring a bit of head scratching.

    My one slight reservation was the inclusion of a word in the clue for 19a which (a) contained part of the answer, and (b) was almost identical to an adjacent answer. There are at least a couple of obvious alternatives which would have worked just as well.

    That aside this was a joy to solve. It took a while for the parsing penny to drop on 1a as I initially leapt to the wrong conclusion that “quarrel” = “row”. I needed to reach for my BRB to verify that the flyers in 27a could be spelt with only one “e”, and also to check the northern dish in 8d.

    As ever on a Wednesday picking a favourite is a challenge. My podium comprises 5a, 7d & 15d.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

    1. ‘Wonderful Wednesdays’ – I like that one, RD, and isn’t it comforting that we’ve kept at least one of our most familiar and enjoyable weekday setters.
      My experience today almost exactly mirrored your own, even down to the podium list, although I do have some experience of the northern dish. Not something that I wish to remember in too much detail!

      Many thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks – I envy you the sighting of Royal Spoonbills.

  2. Another nice Jay crossword – lots to enjoy and hard to pick a favourite but I’ll go for 10a as it reminded me of many hours spent in very steamy rooms with no 2 son when he was young

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

  3. My experience was very similar to RD, the last one or two needed teasing out, particularly the alternative spelling of the birds. I also noticed 19a/23a

    Good stuff, many thanks Jay and the 2Ks

  4. I liked this one a lot – not too difficult but with sublime, well constructed clues. Too many good clues to isolate a favourite. Very enjoyable! 2.5* / 4*

    1. PS. 1a: I didn’t know that word in the clue was another name for an arrow – you learn something new nearly every day with these puzzles!

  5. Did anybody else forget to print the puzzles before the switch over or was it just me? what a schmuck!

    1. I take it to referring to the new site? I also cannot login and speaking to the Telegraph they say the site is down. So much for testing software before publishing!

      1. All the messages about the switchover did say it wouldn’t be back until late afternoon – which I don’t think is quite yet?

        1. Thanks, I must have missed the messages. But I am baffled by this … It’s software and surely just a link change? But as with the banks a transfer can take days😎

      2. I didn’t even know about the puzzles section going down until I was just about to head out the door 5 mins ago. Don’t suppose the admins could post a scan of today’s puzzle for me to print out? …Then remove when the site is back up!

  6. I also thought that 27A was spelled with two e’s,and as for 8D,I’ve eaten plenty of it(albeit under a different name) Thanks to the 2K’s and Jay. Difficulty***/Enjoyment**** Favourite-8D(for the memories)

    1. My Dad would souse fresh Cornish mackerel straight from the sea – filleted then baked slowly in vinegar, pickling spices and bay leaves from the tree in the garden. Eaten cold, it was wonderful. I can still taste it fifty or more years on…

      1. My mother did exactly the same recipe with mackerel and we ate it both hot and cold – yum – I too can still taste it!

  7. Nice gentle midweek fun although NW did hang about a bit. Mostly uncomplicated clues so no outstanding Fav but several nearly theres. Thank you Jay and 2Kiwis.

  8. Very enjoyable, it always is when I manage to complete it without any hints or electronics.

    Am I the only one to see the defective spoilers again today? They were fine for me yesterday.

    Thanks to all.

  9. Very enjoyable crossword from Jay today. Many thanks to him and the 2Ks. PS – Message for Mr Kitty – for the first time
    – today, I am seeing spoiler vertical lines.

  10. Good stuff and no real hiccups though I had to check the meaning of 25A. 5A made me laugh so it’s my pick but 9D ws high up there. Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay.

    1. I’ve just tried & guess what?! The puzzle site is not available. If you’ve developed a new site then tried & tested it & announced an afternoon when it will be launched then surely it should have been a simple case of pressing a few buttons? Rant over.

  11. Yes, I liked it quite a bit apart from agreeing with RD about the 19 and 23 reps.

    I’m guessing that a majority of us went for that 1a quarrel alternative and were left wondering what the 2nd and 3rd letters meant or whether far was some weird word for fine. Anyway, I thought the quarrel was the feathers at the end.

    My favourite was 5a!
    I also liked 18d.

    Thx to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

  12. I am off to look for a Green Plover whose “song” only has one E!!
    Many thanks to Jay for a very enjoyable puzzle and to the 2 Kiwis – Royal Spoonbills are impressive

  13. I’ve just applied the best fix we have for the spoilers appearing as vertical lines. They should now appear properly for roughly 90% of readers.

    1. Aha, maybe it wasn’t the refresh that cured it. Perhaps your fix did the trick while I was writing the comment?

  14. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very nice puzzle from Jay as usual. Great fun to solve, but not too tricky. Started in the NE, then SE, SW and finished in NW. Last in was 12a, had the fodder earlier, but thought it was wrong. Needed the hints to parse 6d. Nice to see a science clue in 9d. I also liked 16d, but my favourite was 5a which made me laugh out loud. Was 2*/4* for me. Just a note for Mr Kitty, when using my mobile S7 Edge with Chrome, I first had the vertical lines on the spoilers, but they reverted to normal when I refreshed the page.

    1. I’m with you re COTD. This was a delightful puzzle. 8d reminded me of ten years of my youth. When families couldn’t afford the meat content it was known as blind s——-. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks. I am looking forwards to our walk this morning as we head towards winter although it will be bald eagles rather than royal spoonbills to look out for.

  15. Later than normal for me to comment, and I think most of what needs to be said has already gone before. For brevity, wit and excellence, 5a takes some beating.

    Thanks very much to Jay and the 2Ks.

  16. Yep! I’ll join the queue for nominating 5a as top clue. Jay with yet another top notch Wednesday crossword.
    Thanks to him, and to the 2K’s for the review.

  17. Steady solve today. I was glad the spoilers were working as I needed a hint or three. Last quadrant to fall was the SE. Particularly 28a where a bit of local knowledge meant I was trying to make an anagram of the River in Leeds.(The Aire) It took an embarrassing amount of time before I remembered it was a cryptic crossword rather than GK.
    Thanks to all 3 birds.

  18. Have been trying to post and not just be an observer but clearly have offended the site gremlin. Pessimistic thet this will end in the ether somewhere but will keep trying (why bother? you ask).
    Keep getting “wordblocks” these days. I parsed 12a easily but could I see the answer? A real Dumbo moment.
    Otherwise very enjoyable thanks J & 2Ks

  19. I tried to log in to the DT crossword yesterday, but I kept getting the message that I had the wrong password. I didn’t, as I’d taken it straight out of a little book I store my passwords in. I then requested a new password, and received a note to say that it would be sent to my email address. It wasnt. I had to ring up in the end and was given a temporary password to use, but was told not to change it until the new system was up and running later today. I stayed up until midnight to be able to use the temporary password and print today’s puzzle. I have yet to see if the new system is up and running. I have managed to finish the crossword with a bit of head scratching. Thank you Jay and the 2K’s.

  20. Just finished after a rather hectic day and not yet read the hints or comments .
    NE corner held out the longest with the delightful 5A my outstanding COTD . Had to check the dictionary over the alternative spellings of 25A & 27A .

    Excellent crossword and thanks to everyone .

  21. Back to normal today with an enjoyable crossword in **/*** territory for this solver. Some nice clueing and a few smiles here and there. Learned a few things too which is nice. Thanks Jay and K’s. Solved early but been playing golf today with Missus HP. I was ‘rinsed’ – she’s just too steady.

    I did tick a few favourites but the notes are upstairs and I am not so, err, thats it.

  22. Morning all.
    A big sigh of relief when we awoke this morning to find that the blog had appeared on time as planned. We had a few issues when we were putting it together that took a couple of emails to BD at a most unsociable time of your day to get sorted. Good to see that everyone is happy again today and enjoyed Jay as much as we did.
    Incidentally, while I was in India and spending quite a lot of time on a bus, I took the opportunity to print out a few puzzles and introduced a couple of new people to the challenge of solving cryptics. It was a real pleasure to see them take such delight in twigging hidden meanings that we with more experience take so much for granted. These are the sort of people who are in our minds when we are putting our hints together. It’s all about sharing the fun we have had from so many setters over the years.

  23. Well I never, there’s another word for arrow.
    Lots of healthy head-scratching, very satisfying puzzle.
    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis for the review.

  24. I know McAfee on my tablet using Chrome thinks the blog site is dangerous, and I have to be incognito to comment, but this evening I have to be incognito to read the latest comments, if not clicking on the comment on the top of the list, takes me to a version of the page from an hour or more ago. Grrrrr

    1. I have been having similar problems re reading latest comments with both Google and Chrome and refreshing doesn’t always solve it. Double Grrrr!

  25. I had the non-effective spoilers yesterday but they are working perfectly today. Many thanks to the technical wizard who put things to rights. Today’s puzzle was quite gentle brain exercise but quite enjoyable nevertheless.

  26. As I am 5 hours behind most of you I hoped the DT puzzle site would be up and running by our breakfast time. Sadly not, and not when we left to run errands. Hopefully will be up by the time we get home. Never mind, did one from Aug 6 that we missed while on holiday, and printed when we got back so all was not lost.

  27. Not quite as quick as yesterday but no hold ups apart from the fact that I had never seen 27a spelt with one “e”. 5a and 17a favourites but not a lot of humour or d’oh moments. Unlike the majority I enjoyed yesterday’s. May have been quick to solve but witty and varied clues. Thanks to both setters and both hinters although only needed to check parsing and today spelling.

  28. Late start but quick finish. Thoroughly enjoyable. Thought 27a had two e. But found alternative spelling in my lovely new BRB which my Better Half bought me for my birthday last week. Favourite 9d.
    Thanks to all.

  29. Nice puzzle – thanks – **/**** but I don’t really get 1a why a quarrel equates to something coming from a bow. Is there something I’m missing? If it said broadcast or something similar it would make a bit more sense but it still wouldn’t explain the double letters.

  30. So other than comments regarding the site being down, what do folks think of the new ‘improved and optimised for mobiles’ ? Or as the phrase is better known designing websites that are ‘Designed by Two-Year Olds – for Two-year Olds’ as is the current vogue for websites these days, sadly.

    I do hope BD doesn’t yield to the temptation ;-)


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