DT 28902 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28902


Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28902

Hints and tips by KiwiColin

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Just one Kiwi in the blogging chair this week as Carol is away on her “overseas” trip. She did not get to anywhere as distant and exotic as India, but has been spending a few days with a group of friends visiting Great Barrier Island. It is a remote and seldom visited place about 100km north-east of Auckland city. It is one of the few relatively unmodified parts of the country that most NZers have heard of, but very few have been to. Worth Googling if you’re interested.
Meanwhile Jay has worked his magic once again.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.

1a Attribute correct sources of tax yearly (8)
PROPERTY A word for correct or seemly and the first letters of the words tax and yearly.

5a A club oddly needing workers to show discernment (6)
ACUMEN ‘A’ from the clue, then the first and third letters (oddly) of club and lastly male workers.

9a Striker‘s night playing in topless affair (9)
LIGHTNING An anagram (playing) of NIGHT is inside an affair or dalliance after its first letter has been removed.

11a Selects actors seeing son featured in musical (5)
CASTS: The abbreviation for son is inside a feline themed musical.

12a Watch nurse have a go (6)
SENTRY: The abbreviation for a State Enrolled Nurse and a word meaning have a go.

13a Applause upset many a DIY-er (8)
HANDYMAN Applause that is named for one of the appendages used to offer it and an anagram (upset) of MANY.

15a Planned limited rides across area that’s free of armed forces (13)
DEMILITARISED An anagram (planned) of LIMITED RIDES which includes the mathematical symbol for area.

18a Out of form? (7,6)
PLAYING TRUANT The form here is a classroom.

22a Work possibly available in the long run? (8)
OVERTIME This work takes place outside the normally allocated hours.

23a Fever seeing capital changing sides? (6)
PLAGUE Start with the capital of Czech Republic and change the letter representing one hand to one representing the other.

26a City shelter dropouts left empty (5)
LEEDS A word for shelter that is often used in a nautical sense and then the first and last letters (left empty) of dropouts.

27a Servant rumoured to be after money is immediately available (5-4)
READY-MADE A slang word for cash money and a homophone of a name for a female domestic servant.

28a Moderate, generally after start of summer (6)
SOFTEN The first letter of summer and generally or frequently.

29a Violent offence at football reported in game (8)
WILDFOWL A synonym for violent and homophone of a word for a football offence.


1d Friend with strange ideas for defensive structure (8)
PALISADE A friend or ally and an anagram (strange) of IDEAS.

2d Up in London, a growing newspaper, for example (5)
ORGAN A reversed lurker hiding in the clue.

3d Doctor learnt about hospital transport (7)
ENTHRAL An anagram (doctor) of LEARNT contains the abbreviation for hospital.

4d Dog brush (4)
TAIL Double definition. Dog is used as a verb and the brush is associated with a fox.

6d Agents employing scoundrel needing small bugs (7)
CICADAS American ‘spooks’ contain a scoundrel or bounder and finally the abbreviation for small.

7d Public communications service aimed for reform (4,5)
MASS MEDIA A church service plus an anagram (for reform) of AIMED.

8d Moving slowly, issue raised at home beginning to grate (6)
NOSING Reverse the word for a male offspring or issue, add the short ‘at home’ word and the first letter of grate.

10d Jokes about boy and right things to wear for best (4,4)
GLAD RAGS Jokes or one-liners surround a word for a boy and the abbreviation for right.

14d Be angry over brief effort to get garden tool (8)
STRIMMER Remove the final letter from a word for effort or attempt and put this inside ‘be angry’ in way that means a slow boil.

16d Plan page about the French national symbol (5,4)
MAPLE LEAF A plan or diagram, the French definite article and a page as found in a book.

17d Heavenly ale brewed around the outskirts of Rome (8)
ETHEREAL An anagram (brewed) of ALE surrounds THE from the clue and the first and last letters of Rome.

19d Entertainer‘s energy supporting painter (7)
ARTISTE The physicist’s symbol for energy comes after (supports in a down clue) a painter.

20d Broadcast shown again without pressure (7)
RELAYED Remove the abbreviation for pressure from within a word that could describe a TV programme that is shown again.

21d Bags of nameless pasta (6)
OODLES Remove the abbreviation for name from a word for a common form of pasta.

24d Piece in America about a love for fertiliser (5)
GUANO The weapon that is known as a piece in the US contains ‘A’ from the clue. Finally the tennis score love.

25d Duty one has to provide transport (4)
TAXI A duty or tariff and the Roman numeral one.

Hard to pick a favourite once again but I’ll go for 29a as it took a while to get the right game.

Quickie pun warts + forty = What’s for tea?


54 comments on “DT 28902

  1. Another fine Wednesday crossword – thanks to J and the Solo K

    Don’t forget that Silvanus has his first Toughie published today.. You can also find Filbert (Mucky) in the Independent, Alchemi in the FT and a splendid Arachne crossword in the Graun

  2. 1.5* / 4*. Jay being very gentle with us to day although the enjoyment factor was still very high. The parsing of 14d was my longest hold-up and 18a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and Kiwi Colin.

  3. Similar to yesterday’s, I thought this was very good. A decent challenge, fine clues and very enjoyable. I’ve ticked these as the best of a worthy bunch: 12a, 23a, 3d, 16d and 17d. 3* / 4*

  4. I really enjoyed today’s excellent puzzle and concur with KiwiColins **/****.

    I liked the construction of 13a and the surface of 27a, I thought the cluing was consistently good-thanks setter and KC for the pics.

    Took a while to parse 16d as the definition was plain.-,anyway the penny finally dropped

  5. Thought it very good. I have always had a feeling Wednesday crosswords were harder, but I loved this one.
    Oh for Mr K it was one where the answers weren’t available.

  6. Well, we have certainly been let off lightly today but it was fun while it lasted. These days there seems to be more of a variation in the complexity levels of our puzzles but obviously that provides for broader appeal. Unaware of 24d and that not helped by initially forgetting the US weapon. SE corner held out the longest. Joint Favs 22a and 27a. No hidden solutions today but black vertical lines (a first for me). Thank you Jay and KiwiColin. I like the pun so was not concerned that it doesn’t appear at the end of the hints – just more vertical lines.

  7. Nothing too tricky today, though it was one I thought where you needed to pay attention. Last in the game down in the far SE corner. Just in time it would appear, as the submit button failed to work, and an attempt to reconnect to the puzzles site yielded only a “502 Bad Gateway”.

  8. I can’t access the Telegraph site – getting Bad Gateway 502 error messages – anybody else having difficulty?

  9. Sorry, just noticed that Jon-S has experienced this too – let’s hope it’s not another of the DT’s mega crashes like last time, when we were all on PDF versions for weeks, if not months!

  10. After a couple of days away from crosswording, because of a business commitment involving early starts and late finishes, this was just what I needed to get back into ‘gear.’ Very enjoyable and completed at a gallop, assisted by some oldies but goodies in the downs – **/****.

    Favourite – 18a.

    Thanks to Jay and Kiwi Colin.

  11. Very enjoyable although 29a held out on me for a long time as I was nicely led down the garden path with regard to the ‘game’.

    Podium places went to 18,22 & the afore-mentioned 29a.

    Thanks to Jay and to ColinK for the blog. Great Barrier Island looks very interesting – hope Carol finds the odd gold nugget to bring home for you!

    PS As CS mentioned – our own Silvanus is in the Toughie chair today, please do give his puzzle a try.

    1. All the spoilers work for me … apart from the second word of the Quickie pun. (Same on PC and iPad).

      1. Same here.
        I noted that the second part of the quickie pun has an extra space immediately in front of it……..

  12. Excellent crossword, for me personally just the right degree of difficulty. Most clues were elegant and contained everything needed to solve the clue without having to have a leap of faith.
    Thx to all
    PS the Quickie pun today is dreadful.

  13. Not over-taxing but thoroughly enjoyable solve.
    Consistent quality with no stand-outs.
    Thanks to setter & Mr K (& my paper boy who ensures I can start my solve over my breakfast Flahavan’s & don’t have to wrestle with trying to access the electronic version)

  14. Why the change to vertical lines? Since they have been in use I haven’t had 1 day when they work-I enjoyed today’s
    puzzle nonetheless

    1. Have you tried clearing your cache – Ctrl + F5 on a pc or there are instructions for iPads on line. This quite often does the trick for most people.

      If not, can you tell us what you are using – eg PC WIndows 7 Internet Explorer – as this may help Mr K to find out what’s going on

    2. There’s a problem with the usual method of creating spoiler buttons that causes them to appear as grey vertical lines for some users. It started a couple of weeks ago. We haven’t found the underlying cause.

      On blogs authored by me the spoilers are created in a different way that appears to work for most users. I’ve now edited today’s blog to use that method.

      As crypticsue says, it would be very helpful if users who report seeing spoilers as vertical lines also include details of the computer/phone/tablet and web browser they are using.

      1. Perhaps a new thread/page dedicated solely to report spoiler behaviour etc would help to correlate what’s going on? At least all the info would be in one place to analyse.

        The format for posts would be ‘problem – device – OS – browser’ and any other information that may be relevant – we may see a pattern emerge.

        It would free the daily blog from repeated posts about the tech side of things when it ought to be reserved for comments regarding the crossword.

        Just a thought.

  15. 18a my clear favourite from amongst an excellent choice of fine clues. Another great example of a relatively straightforward puzzle that was hugely enjoyable, something for which Jay has long been an expert at producing.

    Many thanks to both birds involved in today’s production.

  16. Far too cold for gardening today in the far south-west – frost still lingering despite sunny afternoon – so managed to complete in good time for once. Thanks to all for a do-able Wednesday puzzle, especially for hint to 29a which eluded me. Favourites 18a – and 21d raised a smile once the penny dropped!

  17. Thanks to Jay and to Kiwi Colin for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, not too tricky. Some lovely clues. Last in was 1a. I liked 2&14d, but my favourite was 29a, only got it when I realised what the definition was. Spoilers ok on Samsung Tablet SMT813 using Chrome. Puzzle was 2*/4* for me.

  18. As.Jane, I spent a bit of time on 29a but finished in good time.
    18a was a lucky guess. Looks like I am getting better at these cryptic defs. That won’t make them my faves though.
    Thanks to Jay and to Colin.

  19. Morning all.
    Thanks Sue for sorting out the spoiler for the quickie pun. I have no idea what went wrong there. It all looked fine to me when I did a final check on the draft before bed last night.
    Carol arrives home again later today so we should be back to our regular solving and blogging team again next week.

  20. This was most enjoyable, though I never did get 29a. I’m rather cross with myself, not only have we had it before, but it is a super clue. I even used electronic help but it said no such words!
    My fave was 18a, succinct and fun.
    Thanks to Jay for the enjoyment and KiwiColin for unravelling 14d for me.

  21. Nice crossword as we come to expect on a Wednesday 😃 ***/**** Some really nice clueing but 5a, 11a & 4d were my favourites 🤗 Thanks to Colin for the Blog and to Jay for another enjoyable puzzle 😉

  22. There seems to be great sigh of relief on the site about completing today’s crossword. Can’t understand why!
    A very nice puzzle from Jay with some excellent clues involved. I liked the simplicity of 21d best.
    Thanks to Jay, and to the solo Kiwi for the review.

  23. I mostly enjoyed this crossword. I struggled with the SW corner mostly due to 21d. I never regard this as pasta and Wikipedia seems to agree. I fall for this every time it comes up – darn it! Fave clue was 18a.

    ***/*** for me.

  24. I found this one tougher than yesterday, with a mixed bag of clues, some solved quickly and some requiring more thought. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis for an enjoyable crossword.

  25. Off piste for a minute, but does anyone know what a fusion chip is and why an 80-year-old-woman would need one in an iPad?

      1. Hmm, you’re right, your handwriting is appalling!

        I reckon if I don’t know what it is, I don’t need it. I can’t see very well anyway, the strip version has got to be fine.

  26. I really enjoyed this one as it made me smile several times . Favourite was 18a, possibly because it was my first one in.

  27. 3*/3*….
    liked 6D (agents employing scoundrel needing small bugs);
    appreciated the hints & tips & pictures therein.

  28. Agree with others, and with 2*/4*. Some very nice clues, such as 18a. Apart from the Sunday crossword, Wednesday’s offering is often my favourite one of the week.

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