DT 28949 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 28949

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28949

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Most holiday-makers are back at work again now but there are still about 3 weeks of summer school holidays to go. Not that either of these things makes much difference to happily retired people like us.

Jay up to his usual high standard with today’s puzzle.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Typical end — a race to keep list of appointments (8)
CALENDAR : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

5a     Speaks of total chaos at the back (6)
UTTERS : A word meaning total or absolute and the last letter of chaos.

9a     Bitterness of a tribe lost in deserted city (8)
ACERBITY : ‘A’ from the clue and then an anagram (lost) of TRIBE is enclosed by the first and last letters (deserted) of city.

10a     Reckon missing Conservative will be replaced by Republican authority (6)
EXPERT : Start with a synonym for reckon or consider and replace within this the abbreviation for Conservative with the one for Republican.

12a     Source of information about origin of wine? (9)
GRAPEVINE : An informal source of information is also a plant yielding fruit used for wine.

13a     Singer is following the Spanish victory (5)
ELVIS : String together the Spanish definite article, the abbreviation for victory and ‘is’ from the clue.

14a     Man perhaps American ejected from passage (4)
ISLE : Start with a passage possibly found in a church and remove the abbreviation for American from the beginning.

16a     Searched around area, tormented (7)
HAUNTED : The mathematical symbol for area is inside searched or looked for.

19a     Mallard may have done this if very happy (7)
CHUFFED :   The sound that might have come from this particular Mallard. (This one took us quite some time as we did not know the engine and kept looking for ducks.)

21a     Grass may be evil — and good (4)
SING : An evil or indiscretion and then the abbreviation for good.

24a      Popular place making contribution (5)
INPUT : The two letter word for popular and then place or set down.

25a     Instant suspicion by these wives, initially (9)
TWINKLING : A suspicion or vague remembrance is preceded by the first letters of these and wives.

27a     Target incorporating North American hatred (6)
ANIMUS : A target or goal contains the letter indicating North, then the two letter abbreviation signifying from The States.

28a     A head of publicity with very little desire (8)
APPETITE : ‘A’ from the clue, the first letter of publicity and then a word borrowed from the French meaning very little.

29a     He’s upset about skill and makes connection to ground (6)
EARTHS : An anagram (upset) of HES surrounds skill or ability.

30a     Fought women, relaxed about right of appeal (8)
WRESTLED : The abbreviation for women and then the last letter (the one on the right) of appeal is inside a word meaning relaxed or took a breather.


1d     Attack fee (6)
CHARGE : A double definition. The attack could be connected with the Light Brigade.

2d     Fish rising means flexibility (6)
LEEWAY : Reverse (rising) a long slippery fish and then a means or possibility.

3d     Elevated part of heel-bone is impressive (5)
NOBLE : A reverse lurker hiding in the clue.

4d     Like tense journey on a horse? (7)
ASTRIDE : A two letter word for like or similar to, then the abbreviation for tense and a journey where one is carried.

6d     Go after extra shifts, getting financial statement (3,6)
TAX RETURN : An anagram (shifts) of EXTRA and then a go or opportunity .

7d     Take strength from tea? Never settled! (8)
ENERVATE : An anagram (settled) of TEA NEVER.

8d     Reserve group comment on stage (3,5)
SET ASIDE : A group or collection and a stage comment that could be directed to the audience.

11d     Engage in some shenanigans (4)
MESH : And our third lurker of the day, hiding in the clue.

15d     Pat‘s mug? (4,5)
SOFT TOUCH : A double definition. The first is a gentle caress and the second is a dupe.

17d     Turn on pretence that is about duty (8)
ACTIVATE : A pretence or misleading performance and the abbreviation for the Latin equivalent of ‘that is’ surrounds a type of taxation.

18d      More flexible about one’s provider (8)
SUPPLIER : The Roman numeral one is inside a word meaning more flexible or lithe.

20d     Fruit that has a sell-by, for example (4)
DATE : A double definition. The fruit grows on a palm.

21d     Leave out exercise runs for captain (7)
SKIPPER : Leave out or omit, the abbreviation for physical exercise and the cricket abbreviation for runs.

22d     Son’s mounting trouble providing line (6)
FILIAL : Reverse (mounting in a down clue) a word for trouble and a two letter word for providing. After this put the abbreviation for line.

23d     Said yes to a vice? (6)
AGREED : ‘A’ from the clue and then one of the seven deadly sins.

26d     Succeeded after enthusiastic cries (5)
KEENS : The genealogical letter for succeeded follows a word meaning enthusiastic.

We tossed up between 6d and 15d and chose 15d for our favourite today.

Quickie pun    pause    +    whole    =    poor soul

53 comments on “DT 28949

  1. 2.5*/5*. Absolutely wonderful. A joy from start to finish.

    My podium comprises 12a, 19a (it took a while for the Mallard penny to drop) and, my favourite, 15d.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    P.S. A Jay and Petitjean Wednesday double-bill has to be a cause for great rejoicing.

  2. Straight forward solve today with 12A and 13A biggest smiles so joint favourites .

    Thanks to everyone

  3. This started off very straightforward and then for some reason I took longer over the SW corner than the rest of the crossword put together. Very enjoyable so thank you to the birds

    I share RD’s rejoicing at the wonderfulness of this Wednesday in the DT

  4. I enjoyed removing the letter A in 14ac and immediately finding a home for it in 15ac
    28ac appeared yesterday where it was my last in. Although similarly clued today it was also the last one solved. Doh! I liked 22d which took a bit of teasing out. A good puzzle all round. Thanks to all. I had great fun with the Petijean Toughie today. Only just tough enough. Worth a try I think

  5. I didn’t find this that simple. It was particularly difficult to get a start in the NW corner. Once I had found a few answers, it all fell into place, strangely enough!!

  6. This was excellent, above average difficulty and great clues giving an enjoyable solve. I’ve ticked 10a, 19a, 30a, 17d and 26d out of a very good bunch generally. 19a: this might stymie those who know their birds but not their locomotives. 3* / 4.5*

  7. Another fine Wednesday puzzle.

    My last one in was 19a, which was deduced from ‘very happy’, with no idea what Mallard was pointing to.

    Many thanks to Jay, and to the 2Kiwis.

  8. Quite straightforward once you realise that in a number of clues you have to take the first letter of a clue word without any indication by the setter to do so.
    Not sure about 3D use of Noble for elevated, surely the tense is wrong?
    Thx to all

    1. Brian, the word ‘elevated’ is telling you that the answer is a reverse lurker. The answer actually refers to ‘impressive’

    1. This is such a Frequently Asked Question, it appears under the FAQ tab at the top of the page. I think it is FAQ No 28 but I might be wrong and I am supposed to be ‘working’ so I’d better not take time out to check

  9. Excellent and just the right level, no help needed. Nice picture for 14a,taken from the pub at Creg-ny-Baa. I watched Mike Hailwood win the F1 TT from that exact spot in 1978. Happy Days.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2 K’s for the hints

    1. Never got to the island but listened to every race on the radio through the 60’s.
      You will probably have read “That Near Death Thing: Inside the Most Dangerous Race in the World” by Rick Broadbent, if you haven’t I recommend it.

  10. Very enjoyable with some head scratching required as I got unnecessarily ‘stuck’ on 14a; I need to try and remember this use of Man better than I do. Having erased my children’s names from my memory to make space for other vital crossword data, I might have to consider erasing my grandchildren’s names as well.

    Completed at a fast gallop – 2.5*/3.5*.

    Stand-out favourite – 19a – a really big smile when the penny dropped on the use of mallard.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  11. Often find it hard to come to terms with Jay’s offerings but not today’s which was a wholly delightful enigma. SE corner was last to succumb. Fav 12a. Thank you Jay and the 2Ks.

  12. Very pleasing and not overly tough but like Senf 14a caused more trouble than it should.
    Mallard is very well known to steam anoraks & is still holder of the world record speed for steam locomotives, a record that is unlikely to be broken.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2Ks

  13. Very nice Jay puzzle of average difficulty. Lots of nice clues but I will mention 12a, 25a, 15d, 22d, with 19a in top spot.

  14. Found this very nice, though not sure that the surfaces are all up to the usual Wednesday standard.

    I loved “right of appeal” in 30a and also 6d, which beats 15d to be my favourite today.

    No problems with the mallard, just a big smile being reminded of some of the feathered kind near me who dive – properly – as well as dabble, and are totally adorable when doing so.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  15. A treat today, wizzed through the top half then came to a halt and gradually filled in the rest , I though that the SW corner was exceptional, pleased that I ‘spotted ‘ 19a as I used to be in the Ian Allan club in my youth, nice to see the old LNER A4 pacific again ! Thanks 2K’s for the pic.
    Going for a 2.5/4-thanks setter.
    Isn’t 27 a lovely word.

  16. A high quality offering from our setter today but I certainly didn’t find it as straightforward as some of the earlier bloggers. I know that difficulty is somewhat subjective but I found yesterday’s, given 3* for difficulty, far easier than today’s.
    Although very solvable from the wordplay 26d and 7d were new words to me.
    Having said all that, I enjoyed the challenge. There were so many good clues it’s hard to choose a favourite but 25a just pips 6 and 2d for the honour . 3*/3*
    Thanks to the 2 K’s and Jay.

    1. You have to remember that the earliest bloggers will usually be those who found it easiest. Those of us who are still scratching our heads over lunch don’t post until later.

      I thought there was quite a high count of “unusual” words today, 7d, 22d, 27a & 26d for example. But, all eked out without resorting to electrons.

      Thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

  17. Hmmm my computer did an update and it has wiped out all my saved entries so hopefully I have remembered my screen name correctly! Head like a sieve me!

    I really enjoyed this. I found it quite difficult but but over 3 sessions (yesterday evening, 3.00 a.m. and then just now) the pennies finally dropped. Mallard threw me for a loop for a while, I too was thinking of ducks…. or a relative of ours whose name is Mallard :-) so I think that one is my favourite.

    Light snow here today in Ontario.

  18. 15 down clinches top spot for me today in what was a really well constructed and thoroughly enjoyable Jay puzzle. South-west corner held me up for ages until 19 across dawned. The capital M convinced me that it referred to Sir Nigel’s masterpiece, but the answer somehow eluded me almost to the end. Thanks to Jay for yet another classy cryptic puzzle and thanks to the 2Ks too.

  19. Great stuff. **/**** last night.

    I love the gentle misdirection when compilers use capitalised words at the start of clues (duck and man). 25a brought a smile for the image of suspicious wives – are they ever? Agree that top spot goes to 15d after wondering what an Irish man might be drinking.

    Thanks to Jay and 2K.

  20. Missed 1a. But the rest went in ok with some needing more thought. Liked quite a few. Ta for hints.

  21. Enjoyed that and whistled through it until I got to the SE corner where a bit more thought was required.
    19a my fave today as Mallard the loco is an old friend I often visit at the Railway Museum in York. 17d ran it close too.
    Thanks to Jay and 2K’S.
    Let’s go see if the petitjean is as much fun as this.
    While out with a birdwatching friend I asked him what sort of duck was it over there? He replied That is a goosander.
    I replied I can only see 1 bird it’s a goosander what?

    1. You mentioned bird watching John, we’ve a black swan appear here on the Severn – not exactly a rare bird in itself, but very unusual hereabouts. Sadly a few too many gooseanders have made their homes here.

      1. A good mix of challenging and less challenging clues today. Very enjoyable. Thanks to setter and bloggers.

        Shropshirelad, I wonder whether your black swan is the same one that we have near my part of the Severn in Bewdley? It always looks very lonely!

        1. Hi Rose, welcome to the blog from me also. Maybe our swan belongs with your swan, but missed the train home. We’re up at the other end of the line. Like your swan, it looks very lonely – the other swans and the ducks try their best to ignore it.

      2. I used to sponsor a duck at the Slimbridge wildfowling place back in the 60’s/70’s probably a Blue Peter thing. I sometimes see swans here on the Wharfe and Ouse but not a black one. I used to see a heron fishing below the bridge but I haven’t seen it since the bridge was rebuilt.

  22. Morning all.
    We’re kicking ourselves about 3d. We had it correct when we solved the puzzle and wrote the hints. It was in a later proof reading that the “correction” was made by underlying ‘elevated’ and adding a bit extra to the hint. Dooh! It is all now put back to how it originally was written.

  23. A brilliant Wednesday crossword – I loved it but didn’t find it quite as easy as most of you did judging by the comments.
    It was all going really well until I got to the bottom left corner where it suddenly all went horribly wrong.
    Six answers in that bit of the crossword took about three times as long as the whole of the rest of it – oh well, a dim day, I think.
    19a took for ever – never heard of the train, or have forgotten it – and ‘quacked’ isn’t a slang term that means very happy – I know because I looked!
    Anyway, all good fun and did get there eventually – I hope that I’ve recovered from the pic for 30a before it’s supper time.
    Too many good clues to mention all of them so I’ll just say that 25a or 15d is my favourite.
    With thanks to Jay and to the K’s.

  24. ****/****. Tougher for me than many others. 26d had me stumped and required explanation from the 2Ks (many thanks). Thanks also to the setter – 19a was such a deceptive clue.

  25. Very late on parade although I did solve this one before leaving home this morning.
    Excellent puzzle as usual from our Wednesday setter in which 22d was the one which caused the most head-scratching here.

    Fortunately, I realised quite quickly which Mallard was involved in 19a and that goes on my podium along with 12a & 15d.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks. You must be only too aware of when school holidays fall – that’s when you get inundated with visiting grandchildren and requests for child minding!

  26. Nice crossword 😃 ***/*** Still not sure of the parsing of 22d even though I obtained the correct answer 🤔 Favourites 14a and 25a. Thanks to Jay and the 2xKs 🤗

  27. Solved the crosswords this morning also and spent the day outside as we are enjoying a spell of warm weather. Rain is forecast for tomorrow though
    Needed the blog to understand the Mallard as I thought, quite stupidly, that a duck could chuff.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2 kiwis for the review.

    1. I was on a skiing holiday in Flaine and our apartment was besieged by the local Choughs. It amused the younger members of the group to go on about all the chuffing birds. By younger members I include this so called grown up too.

  28. Thank you to Jay and the 2Kiwis for a very enjoyable puzzle. I got off to a good start in the north west corner, then motored along, slowing down in the south east corner. Got fixated on ducks of course in 19a across. Could do with more puzzles like this.

  29. Most enjoyable. Loved 19a.Such a beautiful loco with that streamline look. Thanks to Jay and two Kiwis.

  30. Lots of fun, the RHS a little more straightforward than the rest? Last in the far NW and SW corners.

  31. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, I found it a bit tricky. I had “inset” for 24a, which made 18d impossible. Also needed the hints to parse 22d. I thought that 10a was a typical Jay clue, and 21d being a good bit of misdirection. Favourite was 19a. Was 2*/4* for me.

  32. I did this Thursday morning as we were out all day yesterday and a motorway closure rendered my brain inactive once we arrived home.

    All has been said about this excellent puzzle, so all I can do is offer my belated thanks to Jay for yet another high quality offering, and to our 2Ks.

  33. Like YS above I too was out all day yesterday battling or so it seemed for much of the rush hour with the M25, so I’ve just completed this excellent crossword from Jay a few minutes ago.
    19a was my favourite.
    Thanks to Jay, and to the 2K’s for the review.

  34. 4*/3*….thought 19A (mallard may have done this if very happy) was rather obscure;
    COD 15D (Pat‘s mug? ).

  35. Very enjoyable. Had trouble with SE corner. Very happy when I finally got 15d. It’s minus twenty eight degrees Celsius (minus eighteen Fahrenheit) here in New York State with windchill so glad to be puzzling indoors. Popped outdoors for two minutes to see the Blood Red Wolf Moon.

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