DT 28921 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28921

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28921

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty ***/****  Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone. This is definitely a Ray T Thursday – it has several of his trademark clues although not much innuendo. I thought it was a tricky little devil and there were several cases of the answer being obvious but leaving me wondering why for ages.

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        Go without terrible rations disappearing quickly (10)
TRANSITORY — A go or an attempt containing (without or outside) an anagram (terrible) of RATIONS

6a        American journalist that’s taken advantage of (4)
USED — Two abbreviations here – the first is a two letter one for American and the second is the usual one for a jounalist

9a        Saw flash catching too much (5)
MOTTO — A flash or a short space of time goes outside (catching) a three letter abbreviation for too much or over-the-top

10a       Run up debts? Not bothered (9)
INCURIOUS — A synonym for run up or to bring something on oneself is followed by the usual crosswordland debts

12a       A lever, we hear, to get tip off (7)
APPRISE — The A from the clue is followed by a homophone (we hear) of a verb to lever or force

13a       French resort bordering hot place (5)
NICHE — A town in the south of France contains (bordering) the abbreviation for H(ot)

15a       Aging tree, largely hollow (7)
ELDERLY — A common tree, one that seeds itself everywhere, and then the first and last letters (hollow) of L[argel]Y

17a       Essential ingredient to make some chips (7)
SILICON — Nothing at all to do with deep-fried spuds that go with fish – these chips are things that make computers work

19a       Fabulous woman chosen by artist (7)
ELECTRA — A word meaning chosen, or voted for but not yet in office, is followed by the abbreviation for an artist or a member of the Royal Academy

21a       Scrap facing United with players on pitch (7)
BITUMEN — A scrap or a small piece of something, the abbreviation for U[nited] and finally some players

22a       Racecourse, one in Ayr? (5)
ASCOT — The indefinite article (one) and someone who comes from Ayr – or Edinburgh or Glascow

24a       Writer of play about Lear’s end (7)
DRABBLE — A verb to play or trifle with contains the last letter (end) of [Lea]R

27a       Fool is amusing or ridiculous (9)
IGNORAMUS — An anagram (ridiculous) of AMUSING OR

28a       Overweight, being excessively stout, especially initially (5)
OBESE — The first letters (initially) of the remaining words of the clue

29a       Steal and it’s prison (4)
NICK — A double definition – to steal something is also a slang word for prison

30a       Concerned before being taken by bad dentist (10)
INTERESTED — An anagram (bad) of DENTIST contains (being taken by) a poetic word meaning before



1d        Bond encapsulates masculine life (4)
TIME — A bond or link contains M[asculine]

2d        Upon a seat gripping Trigger’s flanks? (9)
ASTRADDLE — The A from the clue and then a seat, the kind that goes on the back of a horse, going round (gripping) the first and last letters (flanks) of T[rigger]R

3d        Ship in rising waters (5)
SLOOP — A reversal (rising) of some waters or ponds

4d        Triad judge admits taking part (7)
TRINITY — This caused grief and was one of the answers that I just couldn’t get my head around – a verb to judge, or hear in a court of law, contains four letters that aren’t a word unless you have the wit to split them 2,2 at which point they mean ‘taking part’.

5d        Topless sport’s producing illness (7)
RICKETS — One of the many ‘sports’ or games that a Kath doesn’t understand – the one with balls and wickets and bats and legs – without its first letter (topless) gives a disease of bones caused by a deficiency of Vitamin D

7d        Bed’s erected to accommodate current patient (5)
STOIC — A reversal (erected) of a bed for babies and small children, with its ‘S, contains the physics symbol for electric current

8d        Record making without a sound (10)
DISCERNING — A four letter record followed by a synonym for making (money) without its A (without a)

11d      Lock partially securing letterbox (7)
RINGLET — The first lurker or hidden answer indicated by partially – the lock is a curly bit of hair

14d      One strangely negative about a beefburger, finally (10)
VEGETARIAN — An anagram (strangely) of NEGATIVE containing the A from the clue and the last letter (finally) of [beefburge]R

16d      Muscle which turns either way (7)
ROTATOR — A palindrome (which turns either way) of an action of a muscle. Oh dear – not a terribly helpful hint but it’s probably as good as it gets – I just knew I was going to get in a muddle with this.

18d      Heartless remark about sweetheart being fit (9)
COMPETENT — A synonym for remark – the kind that lots of you will write here today, hopefully – without its central letter (heartless) goes round (about) a sweetheart or favourite

20d      Corporation head in a bind, oddly (7)
ABDOMEN — Start with the A from the clue – follow that with the first and third letters (oddly) of BiNd – these contain (in) a large hemispherical cover, or head. This was the other answer that I had terrible trouble with and simply couldn’t see for ages.

21d      Club supporter’s leader that is supporting supporters (7)
BRASSIE — The first letter (leader) of ‘supporter’s’ and the two letter abbreviation for the Latin for ‘that is’ come after (supporting) some underwear worn by women. Oh dear again – another dud hint – too many supporters!

23d      One doesn’t believe in fancy niceties (5)
CYNIC — The second hidden answer which is indicated by the word ‘in’

25d      Black trickle producing drink (5)
BOOZE — The abbreviation for B[lack] is followed by a trickle or a slow leak

26d      Understand Queen’s upset these days (4)
READ — A reversal (upset) of the two letters for our Queen and the two letter abbreviation that means ‘these days’ as opposed to BC

A bit spoilt for choice today so I’ll just pick a few clues that particularly appealed to me – 10 and 19a and 2 and 4d. My favourite was either 24a (I love her books) or 16d.

The Quickie Pun:-  BUY + SEE + CULL = BICYCLE


44 comments on “DT 28921

  1. Definitely Ray T in fine form – although there appears to be at least one anagram – I particularly liked the way his sweetheart wasn’t the usual E too

    Thanks to him for the crossword and Kath for the blog

  2. Thanks Kath and Ray T.

    Not on my wavelength today and struggled throughout although SW slotted in nicely at first…always a trap.

    A struggle.

  3. 4* / 5*. I think Ray T has surpassed even his own usual very high standard today with this excellent offering. At first I thought this was going to be at the easier end of his spectrum but, after completing about two thirds, the real fight started – mainly in the NW (with 2d my last one in) and I was misled by the sweetheart in 18d.

    Kath, in 16d I took the answer to be the name of the muscle and the “which turns either way” bit simply refers to the palindrome not the action of a muscle.

    My page is littered with ticks with double ticks going to 10a, 15a, 2d, 8d & 21d as well as triple ticks to 21a & 14d.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

    1. Re 16d – no, there isn’t a specific muscle called the rotator – the rotator cuff is a group of several muscles and tendons that keep the shoulder doing what it’s supposed to do (or not in the case of a rotator cuff injury). I know what the BRB says but he’s wrong!

  4. Excellent from Ray T – a robust challenge, great clues and a really enjoyable solve. Far too many good clues to pick a favourite. 3.5* / 4.5*

  5. Yes , excellent clever and amusing crossword . Slow start but gradually picked up impetus.

    The old favourite 21D is my COTD but a few others came close eg 22A .

    A few of my answers needed to be reread to appreciate the exact fit with cryptic clue .

    Thanks to everyone .

  6. A really good tussle this morning, with some excellent clues and much head-scratching during the solving process. 14d was most definitely my COTD, and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole puzzle. I thought this was right up there amongst the very best.

    Many thanks to Ray T for the challenge, and to Kath for a fine blog.

  7. An excellent puzzle that required some thought to complete.

    Like Kath, it took me a while to get my head around 4d.

    Thanks to RayT, and to Kath.

  8. Very enjoyable, but definitely challenging which resulted in completion at a canter – ****/****. I am wondering if Kath’s ‘tricky little devil’ is equivalent to ‘possibly a wrong envelope’?

    Like CS, I liked that sweetheart in 18d was a synonym and not the ‘usual’ letter ‘extraction.’

    Favourite – a toss-up between 17a and 16d.

    Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  9. Perfect puzzle for me. Solved it but a real struggle, ideal for a day in my sick bed. Plenty of little chuckles as pennies dropped.
    Thanks to all for all this fun.

  10. On first read through I had the grand total of five written in. I felt thereafter every answer had to be earned. Lot’s of very clever misdirection and well disguised indicators (thanks Kath for explaining them) plus a couple of stretched synonyms …9a?.. made for a challenging solve for which I needed two or three hints (thanks Kath again!)
    In a strong field I particularly liked 10a and the 11d lurker.
    Thanks to Mr T and to the aforementioned Kath for the review.

  11. Ooh yes, this was one where I had to go round and round adding answers and letters here and there until I had enough checkers in to make sense of the tricky ones. Got all bar two before I gave up and checked online. I would never have got 21d- reading the clue was bad enough. What with niblick the other day and now another golf implement…….. I felt dizzy after a while.

    I’d say about 50% of them fell into the ‘tricky little blighter’ category.
    And thanks to Kath for the explanation of of 19a (that less common noun attached to ‘chosen’ which took me ages) and also the ‘before’ poetic synonym in 30a which I failed to get to explain this bung-in.

  12. Good challenge. Took a while to get started and thereafter took even longer to complete! The NW corner held me up until 4d finally made sense.
    14d was my favourite.
    Thanks to Ray T, and to Kath for her review.

  13. Definitely ‘a tricky little devil’ but so rewarding to solve.

    Top three for me were 10&15a plus the 11d lurker.

    Devotions to Mr T and many thanks to Kath for the blog – and the medical info!

  14. Well I found this much easier than Sundays offering. Some of the clues needed more thinking time and needed hints for 4d. The connection with three did not occur to me.
    All very doable and helped by a bevy of simpler clues like 29a. **/****
    Too many good clues to mention and the hints are invaluable.

  15. It was indeed a difficult solve as I progressed slowly clue by clue, somewhere around a ****/**** as per Kath.
    Last in was 21a for which I had ‘Batsmen’ until I saw the light.
    Agree with Jane that it was rewarding with a sense of achievement on completion-thanks to setter and Kath-I remember reading the ‘Five books’ by Enid, I think the first was five on a treasure island-I digress.
    Took my mind off Brexit for a while !

  16. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the review and hints. What a wonderful puzzle, one of the best I can remember. So much to make me laugh. I had 3 joint favourites (sorry Kath) in 10a,14&21d. All so good. Unfortunately I was beaten by a GK clue in 24a, I’d worked out the bit about Lear’s rear (if you’ll pardon the expression) but couldn’t get the right synonym for play, I’ve only vaguely heard of the author. Also beaten by 20d, could only think of beer gut for corporation. Must’ve been thinking of the answer to 25d. All great fun. Was 4*/5* for me.

  17. A very enjoyable puzzle as usual by RayT. A couple of anagrams and lurkers as usual to get me going. Particularly liked 14 for the surface reading and 18 for the misdirection. 17 was the last in with a great guffaw! Many more fine clues and giggles including the legendary supporter. Thanks to Ray for warming up a chilly day.

  18. Well that was a little tinker! The SE corner was last to yield. I had the usual brain fade about 20d until the penny dropped. 8&21d were my favourites. Thanks to Ray T for an excellent challenge and Kath for the review.

  19. That was real difficult little puzzle but very satisfying to finish albeit understanding about half of most clues!
    Thx to all

  20. Cor blimey! My head hurts after this.
    This had me twisting and turning all over the place..but all good fun.
    I really deserve a glass of wine now.
    Thanks to all and favourite was 21 a,last in.

    1. I’m not clever enough to know what to suggest that you do – it probably depends on what kind of ‘computery thingies’ you’re using – someone far cleverer than I will almost certainly respond to you in a minute or two. If you need an answer for anything that I’ve illustrated with a piccy then if you hover over the picture the answer is there – that only works on days when I do the hints as not everyone does it.

    2. Maybe the WordPress wizards will help. I have no answers. Try refreshing the page. That might help.

    3. Hello, Sally.

      When was the last time that the “Click here!” buttons functioned properly on the device that now has problems?

      Can you try clearing the cache on the browser that you are using and then reloading the page?

  21. The rotator rather than rotator cuff also confused me. The synonym for life at 1d was a bit overstretched too. Too tough for me overall. Thanks to Kath for her much needed hints.

  22. Really good fun all the way through. Just what we always expect from this setter.
    Checked the clue word count and all in order.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  23. Excellent in every respect.
    Such clever clueing eg 4d, 18d, 10a
    Very satisfying to finish, eventually, without assistance
    At least *** for difficulty.
    Many thanks RayT and Kath for the colourfully illustrated review.

  24. Worked my way steadily through thee-quarters of this entertaining puzzle then, like RD and Gwizz, got stuck in the NW however after being out for most of day on my return home that section too fell into place. I hae ma doots about 8d synonym and trilogy for 4d caused problems particularly with 12a. Fell for 17a misdirection and tried to use plural of spuds without the ‘e’. Can’t pinpoint a real Fav. Thanks RayT and Kath.

  25. Evening all. Many thanks to Kath for the review and to everybody else for your comments. As always, much appreciated.


  26. Took a while to realise that the Go in 1a was the same as the Judge in 4d.
    The whole NW was also last to yield.
    More a Beam than a RayT in my opinion.
    Thanks for the tussle and to Kath for the review.

  27. I definitely concur with Kath’s assessment of “tricky little devil”, and as always, I struggled with this Ray T puzzle, particularly 1d and 20d. Clearly my education was sadly neglected, as I don’t understand how corporation = abdomen? 2d stumped me, heard of astride, but never astraddle. And not familiar with 10a. Otherwise I feel quite pleased at solving most of the clues, even though I needed several of Kath’s hints to get there.

      1. Ok thanks. I’ve seen and used corpulent, meaning chubby around the middle, but I guess corporation might have become part of the vernacular after we sailed across the pond. Or I led a sheltered life 😊

  28. Yes that was a bit tricky but still fun. I made a rod for my own back by confidently bunging ARYAN in the racecourse. Aryan is a race I thought. The lurkers provided the checkers to put me right. I wouldn’t have got the author either without Kath’s help. Thanks to her and Ray T. I feel obliged to pick The Sloop John B as my fave but lots of other great clues including the meatless burger.

  29. Thanks so much to Ray T for the somewhat ‘challenging’ and very good crossword and to all of you who have commented on it today.
    Now I’m just a bit on the knackered side and off to London tomorrow to do a spot of baby sitting for the Elder Lamb and her partner so that they can go off to their work Christmas ‘do’ leaving their eighteen month old with me – that means that I’m going to bed very soon as I suspect that not much sleep will be had tomorrow night.
    Night night all and sleep well – I’m pretty sure that I will! :yawn:

  30. Definitely not on Mr T’s wavelength today. Finally got there but needed lots of Kath’s excellent hints. Thanks to both. My last one in (with Kath’s help) and favourite was 14d.

  31. I only got to this last night and quickly realised it was going to be a tussle. Well rested, I finished it off this morning.

    To echo other comments, I thought this was a cracking puzzle and evidence that difficult crosswords can be very enjoyable. Fabulous stuff and a reminder of why I got into crosswords.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Kath for the hints.

  32. 4*/4*……

    COD 14D ( one strangely negative about a beefburger, finally )…..

    also liked 21D ( Club supporter’s leader that is supporting supporters ).

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