DT 28926 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28926

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28926

Hints and tips by KiwiColin

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Carol is away on grandparent duties again so a lone Kiwi blogger today.
The pohutukawa trees have now joined the flax plants by producing masses of brilliant red flowers.  A definite sign that Christmas is not far away.

I found this Jay puzzle quite tricky, especially in the bottom half, and good fun as ever. 

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Spirit present initially in busy street musicians (10)
TRUMPETERS : An anagram (busy) of STREET contains a spirit made from sugar cane and the first letter of present.

6a     Graduate teacher’s furniture items? (4)
BEDS : The qualification that a graduate teacher might have and the possessive S from the clue.

10a     Artist volunteers to eat one side order (5)
RAITA : The letters denoting a Royal Academician, one expressed as a Roman numeral and the former volunteer army.

11a     Hobby that’s hip, possibly in the recent past (9)
PHILATELY : An anagram (possibly) of HIP and a word meaning ‘in the recent past’.

12a     Sink fuel container (7)
SCUTTLE : A double definition. The first meaning is a verb and the second could be found beside a fireplace.

13a     Fancying and cooking stew with one (5,2)
SWEET ON : An anagram (cooking) of STEW and ONE.

14a     Mark felt differently, always suffering from this (7,5)
SCARLET FEVER : A mark left by a wound, an anagram (differently) of FELT and a word meaning always.

18a     Hard coat produced by processing cast iron unit (12)
INCRUSTATION : An anagram (produced by processing) of CAST IRON UNIT.

21a     Furious tabloid in terrible need (7)
ENRAGED : An anagram (terrible) of NEED surrounds a derogatory term for a tabloid newspaper.

23a     Off colour, playing football? (3,4)
RED CARD : The coloured object that an umpire uses to remove an offending player from the field.

24a     Fighter freed irregular, almost capturing student (9)
GUERRILLA : An anagram (freed) of IRREGULAr once the last R has been removed, but we need an extra L and this comes from the abbreviation for learner (student).

25a     Love stay in Scotland — such colour (5)
OLIVE : The tennis score love and a word for stay or exist. (I was surprised to see that the BRB says that this synonym for stay is Scottish or Sth African usage)

26a     Homer’s expression, holding onto son for money (4)
DOSH : The Homer giving us the expression is not the classical Greek one. The abbreviation for son is added inside the expression.

27a     An all-rounder’s chance is here, no matter what happens (2,3,5)
IN ANY EVENT : Where a multi-disciplined competitor might achieve success.


1d     This one’s off before reckless party (6)
THRASH : Start with the word THIS from the clue. Remove ‘one’s’ written as the Roman numeral and S from it. Now comes a word meaning reckless.

2d     What in Madrid coming after university is incomparable (6)
UNIQUE : A three letter abbreviation for university and the Spanish ‘what’ that we all learnt from Fawlty Towers.

3d     Work in the theatre, creating an appearance (7,7)
PLASTIC SURGERY : A cryptic definition. This theatre is not one used for  staging dramatic performances.

4d     Classified source of energy found in new crop test (3,6)
TOP SECRET : An anagram (new) of CROP TEST contains the physics symbol for energy.

5d     Suffers after runs and horizontal bars (5)
RAILS : The cricket abbreviation for runs and a word for suffers.

7d     European in motion to accept English court is optional (8)
ELECTIVE : The abbreviation for European and ‘in motion’ or ‘as it happens’ contains the abbreviations for English and court.

8d     Extract from essay on a race so long? (8)
SAYONARA : A lurker hiding in the clue.

9d     The point of African optimism (4,2,4,4)
CAPE OF GOOD HOPE : The wordplay is another way of describing a significant African geographical feature.

15d     Create a diversion in harbour (9)
ENTERTAIN : Double definition.

16d     Conned crossing threshold, conflicted (8)
DIVERGED : A short word for conned or tricked encloses a threshold or brink.

17d     Runs from moaner on board ship (8)
SCARPERS : A moaner or whinger is contained by the letters signifying a steamship.

19d     Stick around at home for the dog (6)
CANINE : The two letter ‘at home’ is within a stick that used to be used for school punishment.

20d     Arrival of express after a day (6)
ADVENT : ‘A’ from the clue, the abbreviation for day and express, publish or utter. (We had to have one seasonal clue)

22d     Body language revealing Nobel prize winner (5)
DYLAN : Our second lurker of the day. (I bet our Monday blogger got this one very easily.)

A new expression we learnt last week in a cryptic turns up today as the Quickie pun so that has to be my favourite.

Quickie pun   bill    +    dusty    =    builder’s tea


56 comments on “DT 28926

  1. 3* / 5*. This is a red letter day – a wonderful puzzle from Jay and a glorious not-at-all-tough Toughie from Petitjean (in spite of the homogroan of the year). It doesn’t get any better that this!

    I have many, many ticks all over my page and double ticks by 11a, 23a, 1d & 9d. The last of these was probably my favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay and to Colin.

  2. Having built a sty with the Quickie Pun I am now relaxing with the cuppa that it really was. Thanks for that. This took far too long. 18 ac nearly had me sending Saint Sharon for a pencil and paper. I always fail spelling 24 ac. I put an edge in 16d that didn’t help at all and 17d took me far too long to see. Thanks to Jay for a workout after two relatively easy days. Thanks to Colin for the review.

    1. I’ve also got ‘edge’ in my mind so I will now change tack. thanks. A very enjoyable puzzle today.

    2. Yes, I was dickering with edge.
      Also I think divergent and conflicting are practically opposites rather than synonyms, even when it comes to arguments…oh well.

  3. Typically high-quality Wednesday fare.

    Podium candidates 11a, 12a and 17d. COTD: 15d. Nice lurker at 8d.

    LOI: 1d

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 1Kiwi for the blog.

    Tempted to fork out for the print version for the Toughie. Only tried 1 Petitjean puzzle before but it was very good.

      1. I would love to try the Toughie too. Would anyone be kind enough to email it to me? I’d be very grateful ☺️

          1. A paper is nowhere to be found around here – would you be so kind, Gazza?
            Thanks in anticipation.

        1. Many thanks Gazza. I found the Toughie more difficult than the cryptic but very enjoyable. Is this puzzle only in the printed edition of DT?

  4. That’s two ***, possibly more * s on consecutive days.
    Very enjoyable with some excellent misdirections.
    Many thanks Jay, and KiwiColin for therebiew.

  5. Thanks KiwiColin and Jay. Great challenge today.
    As a Scot, 25a made sense as we don’t ‘live’ but ‘stay’ somewhere. Thanks Jay for including the wee minority amongst us – especially after all the American clues yesterday.

  6. I needed a lot of help from Colin – found this one trickier than yesterday’s. Most enjoyable though. My favourite was 9d. Many thanks to Jay and Colin.

  7. Was going to play golf but the rain last night meant buggies were forbidden so sat down with a coffee and tackled this puzzle. I am sure made the best decision.
    Good puzzle with 1d and 23a as joint besties.
    Thanks to Colin and Jay . **/***

    1. 39 points in the mid week stableford this morning, so I am very happy.
      Now for the crossword…

  8. I didn’t know the dish in 10a or get the Scottish reference in 25a, but both answers were obvious.

    The completion still took me **** time, though. A good workout.

    Many thanks to Jay and the K.

  9. Definitely trickier than recent Wednesday puzzles which, after some head scratching, was completed at a fast canter – ***/***.

    Favourite, a toss-up between 23a and 9d.

    Thanks to Jay and Kiwi Colin.

  10. Lovely puzzle, while it lasted. I must have been on the right wavelength today. Completed well inside my personal target time. Joint top spot for 1d and 23a. Now for the Petitjean.

  11. This one was a little tough for me, just couldn’t get on Jays wavelength, hence needed help from Kiwi Colin.
    Thanks to both.

  12. The usual high quality and entertainment that we come to expect on a Wednesday.

    Many thinks to Jay, and to KiwiColin.

  13. This one was quite demanding. I came unstuck with the wrong threshold in 16d and the truncated anagram at 24a compounded my error. Otherwise completed without electronic help.

  14. I must have tuned in early today as I put down **/*** on completion.
    A steady solve for me ,only the Scottish stay was new .
    Liked 10a,reminded me of the Benny Hill character Fred.
    Thanks to all-liked the quickie pun.

  15. Thanks to Jay and to the Two Kiwis for the review and hints. A super puzzle as usual from Jay. Although I was on the wavelength from the off, I could only think of “edge” for threshold in 16d, so that had me beat. Also needed the hints to parse 15d (double definition) and 7d. I liked 9&17d, the latter made me laugh, but my favourite was 11a. Was 2*/4* for me.

  16. Slow start this morning but speeded up into a fast finish in time for a Christmas visit .

    Enjoyed the challenge with 3D favourite , although a familiar theme , closely followed by the very funny 26A .

    Do not expect much criticism today but will look now .

    Thanks to everyone .

  17. That’s much better! An elegant and well constructed puzzle to help me over yesterday’s travails. So many excellent clues it is hard to pick a favourite but if I must it would be have to be 9d for its sheer smileability.
    Thx to all

  18. That’s more like it 😃 ***/**** Like RD I had so many clues worthy of mention 1a, 11a, 14a, 23a & 9d 🤗 (sorry Kath) Thanks to Jay and to Colin 👍

    1. I think Kath will tell you that you can have as many clues as you like “worthy of mention”, she balks at more than one “favourite”.

  19. Well that’s two excellent offerings on the bounce. Work prevented me from starting this until late afternoon but though a tad tired very little held me up, it all slotted together rather nicely. Wavelength, who knows?
    I liked the oriental flavoured lurker and the excellent 3d in particular. 2.5*/3*

    Many thanks to Jay and the single Kiwi.
    Ps having visited NZ many times I can confirm that the pohutukawa in full flower is indeed a magnificent sight.

  20. This week is setting up to be a gold-starred week. That was perfectly delightful, though tricky in parts.
    In the end I was left with 18a, knew it was an anagram but just couldn’t see it, eventually caved in and used electronic help.
    I think my fave is the lovely lurker at 8d, but I also rather liked 11a.
    Thanks to Jay and KiwiColin for this lovely offering.

  21. I completed this excellent Jay puzzle before going out for the day to take my mother to lunch near Chester, and have returned remembering to come on to the site. This late in the day there is not much I can add, apart from my sincere thanks to Jay for another fabulous Wednesday crossword, from which 9d stood out as my favourite, and to our lone Kiwi for his blog.

  22. Morning all.
    Looks like I got the difficulty rating about right. It is always a bit hard to judge when I am solving alone as we are so accustomed to working on these together.

  23. Completed while I was waiting for lunch to arrive in a busy restaurant. I’ll give it 4 stars – and the lunch the same..Thank you KC and setter.

  24. Two days running for excellent puzzles. This put up some resistance in the SW corner not helped by my fanciful spelling of 24a and the clank of the penny drop for 26a. I thought the lurker in 8d was top notch and very clever misdirection in 3d. Thanks to 1K and Jay.

  25. Most enjoyable fare from Jay which I certainly found more difficult in the lower reaches.
    The 18a anagram needed ‘pen circle’ help and I didn’t know either the Scottish connection in 25a or the expression from that particular Homer – tend to steer well clear of him.
    The answer to 23a was obvious enough but – doesn’t the wordplay only lead to the first word?

    Runaway favourite here was 9d.
    Thanks to Jay and also to our singular K for the blog.

  26. The presents are wrapped, and mince pies made, so it was a real treat to sit down to this Jay puzzle. Too many favourites to mention. I was only held up slightly by putting ‘the’ as my second word of 27a which left me puzzling over 15d. Many thanks to Jay and to the oneK. I loved the quickie pun, because I love the quickie pun. The stronger the better.

    1. Lucky old you – I’ve barely started on wrapping presents and the mince pies that I made today are for husband to take to work tomorrow.
      I loved the Quickie pun too even though I hate the stuff – don’t even like it when it’s weak! Yuk!

  27. I agree with anyone who found this trickier than is usual for a Jay – maybe we’ve all got ‘scrambled brain syndrome’ with lots to do at the moment.
    My sticking point was the bottom half in general with the right hand bit of it being the worst.
    My other potential problem was one of my own making until I started on the down clues which soon sorted me out – I had ‘gastank’ for 12a – how silly was that but it made sense to me at the time! :oops:
    The 18a anagram took me for ever and I never can spell 24a without checking it.
    Loads of good clues – 10 and 14a and 1 and 17d all stood out for me today and my favourite, my one and only favourite was 9d.
    With thanks to Jay for yet another brilliant crossword and to the lonely Kiwi for the hints.

  28. Well, I must be in a minority because I sailed (more or less) through the lower half only to slow up dramatically in the top half.
    Definitely trickier than usual from Jay. Excellent stuff!
    Fave was 9d…
    Thanks to Jay,and toColin for the review.

  29. Lovely puzzle and lovely blog too.thanks to both.
    Only problem was the Scottish stay. I was convinced it would be BIDE and spent way too long trying to make a word from variations.

  30. Enjoyed this challenge and eventually completed bar a couple with which I stupidly needed Kiwi help (24a parsing, 16d and 17d). Made life difficult for myself by bunging in ochre for 25a which complicated the 19d dog. Fav was 2d. Thank you Jay and the lone Kiwi.

  31. Good puzzle – thanks Jay. However was held up on three due to my own stupidity. Could not parse 25a. Would have been tempted by ochre had I thought of it. Was stuck on 17d mainly because I was trying to put both letters of the ship at the bottom. Finally, through my own stupidity had the operator rather than the operation down for 3d which made the fighter impossible. Oh well we live and learn. Well done Kiwi One for your singular endeavours

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