DT 28937 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28937

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28937

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Happy New Year, or in Maori Tau Hou hari.

We are having a brief respite from all our seasonal visitors so just the two of us here as we put together our first blog for 2019.

A quality puzzle from Jay once again.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Artist‘s second record admitted by criminal court (8)
SCULPTOR : The abbreviation for second and then a 33 rpm vinyl record is inside an anagram (criminal) of COURT.

5a     A decent chap, mostly chasing fine material (6)
FABRIC : The abbreviation for fine, then ‘A’ from the clue and a ‘decent chap’ loses his last letter.

9a     Lively pub’s motto offering cheers (7,2)
BOTTOMS UP : An anagram (lively) of PUBS MOTTO.

11a     African country losing love for a dance (5)
CONGA : Remove the tennis score love from the end of an African country and replace it with ‘A’ from the clue.

12a     Delighted journalist after having seen story rejected (6)
ELATED : The abbreviation for a senior journalist follows the reversal of a story.

13a     Teachers seeing riddles initially dismissed (8)
TRAINERS : These riddles function as sieves. Remove the first letter from another word for them.

15a     Words of love now — he’s setting out (5,8)

18a     Cleaner reprimands person in tears (6-7)
CARPET SWEEPER : Split the answer 7,6 to get reprimands and a person crying.

22a     Demote European envoy after resistance (8)
RELEGATE : The abbreviations for resistance and European followed by an envoy possibly from the Pope.

23a     Element that’s key on horse (6)
COBALT : The horse is a short-legged sturdy one, and the key is found on a computer.

26a     Sing the praises of former tax cut (5)
EXTOL : The prefix meaning former and then remove the last letter from a tax that could be paid for road use.

27a     New foal ready for a long drink (4,2,3)
YARD OF ALE : An anagram (new) of FOAL READY.

28a     No reply from this worker is out of the question (3-3)
YES-MAN : A cryptic description of an employee unlikely to give a negative response.

29a     Barred areas for young song writer in case of process (8)
PLAYPENS : An old word for a song and a writing implement are inside the first and last letters (case) of process.


1d     Rent, with advance sale collapsing on beginning of exchange (8)
SUBLEASE : An advance payment or loan, an anagram (collapsing) of SALE and then the first letter of exchange.

2d     Powerful traditions constrain such an extremist (5)
ULTRA : A lurker hiding in the clue.

3d     Stick out for a planned undertaking (7)
PROJECT : A double definition, the first is a verb, the second a noun.

4d     Throw out leader ducking mediaeval tournament (4)
OUST : Remove the first letter (leader ducking) from a type of mediaeval tournament.

6d     Legal case covering university sale (7)
AUCTION : A legal case or lawsuit includes the abbreviation for university.

7d     People well-placed in the race for gold? (7-2)
RUNNERS-UP : A cryptic description of those not quite winning a gold medal.

8d     Rough rows in church (6)
COARSE : The letters for the Anglican Church surround rows as a way of propelling a boat.

10d     Spend some money on getting a grip (8)
PURCHASE : A double definition.

14d     Bad spellers test patience of this city (8)
COVENTRY : A group of evil enchanters and then a word meaning ‘test patience of’.

16d     Steps up, being formerly involved in unusual cases (9)
ESCALATES : Formerly or now deceased is inside an anagram (unusual) of CASES.

17d     Horses needed by rag-and-bone men crossing river (8)
TROTTERS : The abbreviation for river is inside people like Steptoe and Son.

19d     Like a monarch — one with answer for badges of office (7)
REGALIA : An adjective meaning like a monarch, then Roman numeral one and the abbreviation for answer.

20d     New money will cover firm for financial system (7)
ECONOMY : The abbreviation for a firm or business is inside an anagram (new) of MONEY.

21d     Prince with no crown must protect the empty blood line (6)
ARTERY : The same prince we met in last week’s puzzle loses the first letter of his name and encloses the first and last letters (empty) of ‘the’.

24d     Humble a graduate — she has no heart (5)
ABASE : ‘A’ from the clue, a Bachelor of Arts and the first and last letters of ‘she’.

25d     Test part of door alarmed (4)
ORAL : And we finish with our second lurker hiding in the clue.

Our favourite this week is 14d.

Quickie pun    peer    +    steers    =    pierced ears

53 comments on “DT 28937

  1. Happy New Year, everyone.

    2* / 4.5*. It’s very good news to see Jay continuing his 2018 excellence into 2019. Apart from the nebulous “chap” putting in an appearance in 5a, I really enjoyed this with 18a my favourite.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

    1. RD. Why “nebulous chap”? Are you suggesting that there is a truncated chap’s name in the clue?

    2. Surely there’s nothing nebulous about the decent kind of chap (or indeed female) contained in 5a.

      1. :oops:
        I was in a great hurry this morning and made a complete mess of parsing 5a. I should have known better from Jay.

  2. Thanks Jay and the 2Ks.

    3*/4.5* for me.

    Nice trot around the grid with 18a a big face-palm and 21d a fantastic head-scratcher!

  3. This one was fairly straightforward but the clues were mostly excellent, providing an enjoyable solve. I’ve ticked 13a, 14d and 21d, but there were plenty other good ones. 2.5* / 3.5*

  4. A nice solved, helped by starting with the Downs as is normal for a Wednesday

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

    1. Should I read more into why you start with down clues on
      a Wednesday or is that your personal dictat?

      1. I discovered a long time ago that if you start with the Downs on a Wednesday, you definitely get on better than if you start with the Acrosses. I’m not the only one to think this and we did once discuss it with Jay and he was no wiser than us as to why such a strategy would be helpful to the solver, but it works.

        1. I often find that I can get a good start to any puzzle by first going up the downs, and I have no explanation for that!

  5. Another quality’s puzzle from Jay and a beautifully illustrated blog from The 2Ks. The picture accompanying 14d is splendid. My home cities Cathedrals. The best in England. Thank you

  6. Definitely a first for me – finished before 11.30am and only 2nd person to comment (at time of writing)! Very enjoyable – last one in 1d. Never heard of the rag-and-bone men (had to check BRB)
    – I was getting confused with Del Boy et al. Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis and Happy New Year to everybody.

  7. Gentle enjoyable puzzle. Not sure about 7d. A runner-up is definitely not in a good place for gold, is he? I’ll go along with 18 a as my favourite today.

  8. A really enjoyable test today. Stumped on 8d as I didn’t interpret “rows” correctly. Otherwise finished unaided. 27a my favourite. Happy new year to all crossword solvers, setters & bloggers.

  9. Another cracking puzzle from Jay, some head scratching and thesaurus searching but it surrendered in the end.
    Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay.

  10. The crossword production line continues to roll out quality issues , long may it continue .

    My COTD 18A closely followed by several others of high quality .

    Special thanks to Jay and the 2Ks .

  11. This good, untaxing fun was all too short-lived so hey ho on with the domestic chores. West was a piece of cake but the East just a little more challenging. The rag-and-bone men in 17d new to me hence that was a bung-in. Like RayS I feel 7ds definitely miss out on gold. Thank you Jay and Ta Hou hari and thanks to the 2Ks.

  12. Fabulous stuff again from Jay. Not too tricky but full of sparkle.

    Metaphorical ticks for: 11a, 18a (seem to have seen this before?), 21d and 29a. All comfortably trumped by COTD (clue of the year in fact): 14d

    LOI: 17d (the rag-and-bone man was also new on me)

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks for the review.

  13. Very enjoyable and completed at a gallop with the assistance of some oldies but goodies of which 18a is a fine example – **/****.

    Favourite has to be 18a.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  14. Excellent start to the new year from Jay in which the only thing I needed to check was the archaic word for a rag-and-bone man. Like Sarah, I was thinking of Del boy!

    Favourite was 18a even if it is a chestnut.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks as they enjoy their respite. A very Happy New Year to all three birds.

  15. Very enjoyable. Favourites were 14d and 21d. My daughter lands in NZ tomorrow, followed by my son a month later. Thank you 2Ks and Jay.

  16. I also didn’t get the explanation for 5a entirely right. Some witty clues today, I particularly liked the ‘bad spellers’. And I remembered to start with the down clues. Thanks to all.

  17. Excellent enjoyable puzzle even if I did need the hint for 13a to explain my answer!
    My favourite def 14d, a real smiler.
    Thx to all

  18. For some reason I found it harder than usual but agree totally with the enjoyment rating. Thanks to Jay and Kiwis

  19. Another Wednesday pleasure from Jay.
    Memory needed for when playpens were “barred areas” not today’s fine mesh nylon (?) nets.
    15a prompted thoughts of Brenda Lee & “My baby whispered in my ear, Sweet nothings”
    Thanks to Jay & 2Ks.

  20. Thanks to Jay and 2Ks for a highly entertaining puzzle. No real trouble but I wanted a different sort of bloodline in the cleverly worded 21d and an h on the end of 24d both of which held me up. Good fun for a beautiful but chilly morning here in Devon.

  21. Good to get back to doing the crossword over lunch after a prolonged spell of hospital visiting. For some reason got stuck on 13a I liked the rhymer in the quickie! Must remember to do the down clues first on Wednesdays (!?!)

  22. Greetings from a distinctly cool and wet Puglia. I did this in two sittings today as had to go for supplies before snow from Balkans arrives. Lots of good clueing and ah moments. LOI was the non-Del Boys!

    Thanks to Jay and 2Ks

  23. Another fine puzzle. Thanks to Jay and 2K’s. I imagine there are others who vote for 14d but 18a was my fave today and the pic to illustrate it was very apt as until very recently my mum had that very model of 18a but was persuaded to donate it to Beamish living history museum.

  24. Excellence comes as standard on a Wednesday, with 18a the best of some terrific clues.

    Many thanks to J and the Ks.

    1. Welcome to the blog Shucks.
      We are aware of the difference between trotters and pacers and carefully chose a picture that we thought definitely showed the leg placement of trotters. We’re not experts though.

  25. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. Another excellent puzzle from Jay. I only had one hold up, having wrongly entered “abash” in 24d. Thought it was wrong because I couldn’t parse it, once corrected I was able to get 28a which was last in. I liked 23a&14d, but my favourite was 21d. Was 2*/4 * for me.

  26. Jay always provides a satisfactory challenge and today was no exception. There were a few where I got the right answer, but needed the 2Kiwis hints to explain why (13a and 7d) and hadn’t heard of the other name for rag and bone men before. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis, much enjoyed.

  27. I got myself into a real pickle in the NE corner by putting the country into 11a instead of the dance, which meant that I was really headscratching over 8d. Read the clue Florence, read the clue. New Year’s resolution? I have two favourites, 14d and 21d. 9a made me smile. Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  28. Superb puzzle, Jay never disappoints.
    So many good clues, it’s impossible to chose a favourite, but I will anyway, 18a.
    Thanks to K and Mr.K.

  29. Morning all.
    Looks like general agreement again on the quality of the puzzle.
    A grey windy day is dawning here but the temperatures continue to be well into the 20s. All NZ is still on holiday and will slowly get back into operation from next week. The really settled warm summer weather usually starts about then.

  30. Nice clever crossword 😃 **/**** Lovely start to the New Year. 👍 Favourites 5a & 8d 🤗 Big thank you to Jay and “Tau hou hari” to the 2xKs ( I wonder if that will turn up in a clue one day) 😬

  31. I really enjoyed this, even though it took a long time with constant interruptions and a late start.
    I needed the hint to unravel 13a, but it seems many others were in the same boat.
    My fave was overwhelmingly 14d, but 18a deserves honourable mention.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2kiwis for the fun.

    1. An interesting theory and it does lead to the right answer but suspect that Jay intended the wordplay as we have put in the hint. :smile:

    2. Don’t think so – it’s A from the clue chasing F (ine) + mostly decent chap = BRIC (k) – and besides, Mr Mayall is Rik

      ‘Mostly’ surely means ‘curtailed’, not ‘remove an internal letter’.

  32. That’s better! Nice crossword from Jay that needed a bit of thought for a satisfactory solve. I’ll go with 21d as my favourite.
    Thanks Jay, and also to them down under for the review.

  33. Quickie comment only as long one (favourable) yesterday disappeared into the ether. I’ll hope for the best with this one. Very good. For me very straightforward and I found easier than an average Jay. My last one in was 14d. Thought the answer could be a city but until I went through the alphabet thought “try” was an unlikely ending. 23a and 19d were favourites.Thanks Jay and 2Ks. Only help with parsing needed was 10d as did not know the second definition.

  34. Very entertaining…
    liked 26A (sing the praises of former tax cut) and 17D ( horses needed by rag-and-bone men crossing river ).

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